A complete mammoth skeleton has been found in France, north-east of Paris. If that was not exciting enough, fragments of flint have been found embedded in its skull!
The mammoth could have been attacked by one of the bands of Neanderthal men and women who wandered over the European tundra in the cold, dry period between two ice ages more than a thousand centuries ago. The predecessors and distant cousins of Homo sapiens must, at the very least, have feasted on the mammoth’s carcass, possibly some time after its death.
“What we have found here is a moment in pre-history in an absolutely extraordinary state of preservation,” said Pascal Depaepe, technical director of the French national institute for preventative archeology, INRAP. “It is my belief that the mammoth was butchered by Neanderthals on this spot. Whether the animal was hunted down by them, or found dead some time later, we may never be able to tell. The concept of rotten meat is, after all, a relatively modern idea.”
Story: John Lichfield, The Independent | Photo: Reuters