Huge trove of mammoth skeletons found in Mexico

Nellie Chapman
November 8, 2019

The remains of 14 woolly mammoths were found inside the 15,000-year-old, human-dug pits.

Mammoths were hairy giants that roamed the icy tundra of Europe and North America for thousands of years before disappearing at the end of the Pleistocene period 10,000 years ago.

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). "This is the largest find of its kind ever made", according to the institute, in a statement.

Researchers said Wednesday the pits were found during excavations on land that was to be used as a garbage dump.

The fossils were found in the municipality of Tultepec near the site where a new airport is under construction.

Scientists previously thought humans "randomly" targeted mammoths trapped by environmental obstacles such as swamps.

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Researchers have worked at the site, near where President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government is building a new airport for Mexico City, for nearly 10 months, recovering 824 bones in the roughy 26-feet-deep pit.

The recent discovery of more than 800 mammoth bones could change our understanding of how early humans hunted the enormous animals.

In the 1970s, workers building the Mexico City subway found a mammoth skeleton while digging on the capital's north side. The researches of the National institute said that the hunters might have chased the mammoths into the traps which were created to capture them.

824 bones were recovered from the mammoth traps.

It remains unclear whether planned construction of the dump will continue.

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