Technology

Mysterious bone circles made from the remains of mammoths reveal clues about Ice Age


Mysterious bone circles made from the remains of dozens of mammoths have revealed clues about how ancient communities survived Europe's ice age.


New analysis shows the bones at one site are more than 20,000 years old, making it the oldest such circular structure built by humans discovered in the region.


This shows people were burning wood as well as bones for fuel, and the communities who lived there had learned where to forage for edible plants during the Ice Age.


One possibility is that the mammoths and humans could have come to the area on masse because it had a natural spring that would have provided unfrozen liquid water throughout the winter—rare in this period of extreme cold.


Climate reconstructions indicate at the time summers were short and cool and winters were long and cold, with temperatures around -20 degrees Celsius or colder.


The new study suggests this may not always have been the case as the intensity of activity at Kostenki 11 appears less than would be expected from a long term base camp site.






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