Mysterious Ice Age structure made from hundreds of mammoth bones discovered in Russia

Based on previous discoveries, researchers believe they were constructed by Palaeolithic people to serve as houses, providing refuge during harsh winters.

"Mammoth bones are very heavy, and building the circular structure represents a huge investment of time and energy by the humans that built this," said Alexander Pryor, lead study author and Palaeolithic archaeologist at the University of Exeter.

"These finds are important because they illustrate how our human ancestors adapted to survive the harsh environments of the last Ice Age by making use of the resources they found around them."

Other areas in Northern Europe showed signs of abandonment at the time, and suggest that trees were a rare and precious resource.

"It's not yet clear whether the bones are from mammoths recently hunted and killed by humans or if they were scavenged from carcases of animals that died of natural causes," Pryor said.

One suggestion by the researchers is that the site's purpose was food storage, which helped them survive the Ice Age and its devastating winters.

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