Arctic island woolly mammoth shows strongest evidence yet of human slaughter and butchering
The Siberian Times
The extinct mammoth remains were dated by radiocarbon analysis to 21,000 years of age by the Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo. Picture: Albert Protopopov
The Kotelny island woolly mammoth was killed by humans some 21,000 years ago, say scientists.
Dr Albert Protopopov shared new pictures of the remains found at a location which was then part of the vast Beringia Land Bridge connecting what is now Siberia and North America.
'The traces on the bones show that the mammoth was killed and butchered by ancient people,' he said.
'I believe no other mammoth previously found in the world had such clear signs of being hunted by humans.'
'We found cuts all over its ribs, there were traces of spear strikes with chips left from the darts.'
Detailed analysis will be undertaken on the remains this year; genetic molecular research is planned by Swedish researchers and mitochondrial DNA study will be conducted by American experts.
The extinct mammoth remains were dated by radiocarbon analysis to 21,000 years of age by the Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo.
Dr Protopopov believes that the hunters who killed the mammoth may have been part of the human migration from nowdays Siberia to America.
‘Recent DNA research suggests that the split in the populations - and therefore the settlement - happened from around 25,000 years ago.
‘We think that Kotelny island mammoth fits this period.
‘This is one of the most interesting things in the discovery of this mammoth, as it will add more information to our knowledge of how people gradually moved towards America.'
Earlier it was revealed that a computer scan proved a broken spear tip was inside the shoulder blade of the mammoth.
Further analysis of material on the remains - known as Pavlov’s mammoth after its finder Innokenty Pavlov - shows 'the skull and the tusks were chopped' with a stone tool, said Dr Protopopov, head of the department for the study of mammoth fauna of the Yakutian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
'We also washed the bones and found numerous traces of butchering on them.'
Ancient men ‘cut all the meat, severed the mammoth's trunk, removed the brain and pulled out bone marrow from all the limbs', he said.