Wide Traps Set for Woolly Mammoths Believed Found in Tultepec, Me

Mammoth skeletons and 15,000-year-old human-built traps found in Mexico

Mexican anthropologists say they have found two human-built pits dug 15,000 years ago to trap mammoths.

This differs from anthropologists' previous belief that early humans only killed mammoths that were already wounded or trapped.

Mammoth bones found in what is believed to be the first mammoth trap set by humans, in Tultepec, Mexico, in a photo released by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology (INAH).

The pits were about 6 feet (1.70 meters) deep and 25 yards (meters) in diameter.

The discovery marks a turning point in how we understand the relationship between mammoths and humans during our hunter-gatherer phase, according to Pedro Francisco Sanchez Nava, national co-ordinator of archeology at the INAH.

Scientists hope to continue their fossil forensics at three other sites, where they expect to discover how mammoth hunters employed a row of traps to "reduce their margin of error", Hernández said.

Experts think that groups of between 20 and 30 hunters used torches and branches to separate some mammoths from their herd and direct them into the traps.

Archaeologists working the site of a planned garbage dump in Tultepec, Mexico, say they've found two pits used to capture the animals, as well as 824 bones from at least 14 mammoths-some of which show evidence of hunting.

In the 1970s, workers building the Mexico City subway found a mammoth skeleton while digging on the capital's north side. As a bone-us, the dig even uncovered remains of a horse and camel that have since vanished from the Americas. The bones are likely the remains of at least 14 mammoths.

It's unclear if plans for the dump will be altered to accommodate the site.

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