|10 September 2018
Mammoth 'kill site' and ancient graves discovered in Austria
During roadworks on a new bypass near Drasenhofen (Austria), archaeologists have discovered a prehistoric 'kill site' full of mammoth remains, where ancient people used to herd the large mammals so they could be killed and butchered.
Researchers found massive mammoth tusks and bones as well as the remains of other large animals. The 16-square-metre site is estimated to be between 18,000 and 28,000 years old and Stone Age tools were found there as well.
Ancient civilisations used to strategically drive large animals, including mammoths, into the death zones. Areas were pre-selected by humans that they knew were difficult for mammoths to traverse, giving them a clear advantage over the giant woolly mammal. They would then kill mammoths using spears and butcher them on site.
Martin Krenn of the Austrian Federal Monuments Office said: "The Palaeolithic kill site is the first to be excavated in Austria and was analysed using state-of-the-art methods. It gives us a sensational overview of the Palaeolithic people's way of life." In total, €2.4 million (£2.16 million) will be invested in the archaeological excavations before the new motorway bypass opens in autumn 2019.
At a nearby site, where road workers are constructing a roundabout, graves attributed to the Bell-Beaker people were found. The Beaker culture was a prehistoric civilisation native to western and Central Europe which started in the late Neolithic period and lasted until the early Bronze Age. Archaeologists think the graves date from between 2,600 and 2,200 BCE.
Edited from Metro (7 September 2018)
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