Neanderthal tools found near mammoth cemetery in Britain – archyde

The steppe mammoth, drawn by the artist Dmity Bogdanov. A graveyard of these mammoths, who are the ancestors of the woolly mammoths, was recently found west of London, along with the Neanderthals’ tolls. Credit: Creator: Dmitry Bogdanov /CC BY 3.0

Last week in Swindon, UK, a 200,000-year-old “mammoth cemetery” with an accompanying hiding place for tools used by Neanderthals was excavated nearby.

Found in a quarry, the bones of five of the giant mammals that were the ancestors of. was woolly mammoths, contain those of an infant and two young mammoths as well as those of two adults.

They died during the Ice Age that ruled at that time, at a time when Neanderthals thrived in what is now Britain.

The last Ice Age occurred from the end of the Eems to the end of the Younger Dryas Period and spanned the period from 115,000 to approximately 11,700 years, when Homo sapiens rose and gradually merged with it Neanderthals.

200,000-year-old 'mammoth graveyard' found in UK

Nearby Neanderthal tools could mean they hunted the giant mammals

The researchers said the stone tools they found in what is now a quarry were from Neanderthals. The utensils include a hand ax and small flint tools, so-called scrapers, with which fresh animal hides were cleaned.

DigVentures, an archaeological crowdsourcing team from the UK, led the excavations at the quarry.

At this point, the researchers do not know whether the mammoth bones show traces of the stone tools of the Neanderthals; whether this is the case will be further investigated.

Lisa Westcott Wilkins, co-founder of DigVentures, said in a statement to the press, “Finding mammoth bones is always extraordinary, but finding ones so old, well-preserved and in such close proximity to Neanderthal stone tools is extraordinary . “

Incredibly, the hoard of mammoth bones and Neanderthal tools owes its discovery to two amateur fossil hunters, Sally and Neville Hollingworth, who discovered it a few years ago.

DigVentures then sponsored two field excavations in 2019 and 2020 to find out what other historical treasures the site could yield. In fact, archaeologists found other relics from the Ice Age there, including objects that range from giant mammoth tusks and bones to delicate beetle wings and the fragile shells of freshwater snails.

Interestingly, the DigVentures archaeologists note that the five mammoths whose remains they discovered were smaller than the early steppe mammoths, whose shoulders were typically up to 4 meters high. They state that this is most likely an indication that the species may have become smaller due to the stresses and strains of a particularly cold period during that particular ice age.

Researchers say the artifacts were formed 220,000 to 210,000 years ago, towards the end of an interglacial or relatively warm period when Neanderthals were still living in Britain. They say that after temperatures dropped, Neanderthals left the site and moved south.

The discoveries naturally raise the question of whether the Neanderthals hunted the animals or only used them to meet them there or just to loot their carcasses; the researchers will try to find this out over time.

As Live science Evidence has been found earlier that Neanderthals may have tracked mammoths and other large pachyderms, including Neanderthal footprints found in a 100,000-year-old “nursery” for elephants with straight tusks (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) in southern Spain.

Duncan Wilson, Managing Director of Historic England, said in a statement on the find: “The results have tremendous value in understanding the human occupation of Britain, and the delicate environmental evidence obtained will also help us understand them in the context of past climates . “Change.

“With these findings and the research that follows, we look forward to further illuminating life in Britain 200,000 years ago.”

The excavation was made possible by Historic England, Keith Wilkinson of ARCA at the University of Winchester, the landowners of the site, Hills Group Quarry Products and a team of specialists from several UK research organizations.

The incredible discovery will be shared with the world in a new documentary entitled Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard starring Sir David Attenborough and Ben Garrod, an evolutionary biologist at the University of East Anglia. The show will air on Thursday, December 30th at 8 p.m. GMT on BBC One.

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