Both discoveries reveal how appealing the area – once a shallow lake – was for the mammoths, and how erroneous was the classic vision of groups of fur-clad hunters with spears chasing mammoths across a plain.
For the moment, however, Mexican archaeologists are facing a surfeit of mammoths, almost too many to ever excavate.
“There are too many, there are hundreds,” said archaeologist Pedro Sánchez Nava, of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The institute began digging in three large but shallow areas in October, when work started to convert an old military airbase into a civilian airport. In about six months, the bones of 60 of the huge, extinct herbivores were found, and Sánchez Nava said that pace – about 10 mammoths a month – may continue. The airport project is scheduled for completion in 2022, at which the dig will end.
The excavations were conducted on the shores of an ancient lake, once known as Xaltocan and now disappeared. The shallow lake apparently produced generous quantities of grasses and reeds, which attracted mammoths who often ate 150kg (330lb) of the stuff every day. “It was like paradise for them,” Sánchez Nava said.
The excavations are about six miles (10km) away from the mammoth pits found last year in the hamlet of San Antonio Xahuento, There, two human-built pits were dug about 15,000 years ago to trap mammoths, which apparently couldn’t clamber out of the 6ft (2-meter) deep traps.
Those pits, found during excavations for a garbage dump, were filled with bones from at least 14 mammoths, and some of the animals appeared
This post was originally published by Nexus Newsfeed on . Please visit the original post to read the complete article.