Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mammoth hunters of the Russian Far East

They found one of their camps, apparently.

The site, found during a 2007 archaeological expedition to Lake Evoron, is the largest of four Stone Age sites, discovered near the Amur River so far, and was most likely established by mammoth hunters.

"We came to this conclusion after studying flint pikes, arrowheads and a stone scraper," Malyavin said, adding that a comprehensive archaeological excavation could take a couple of years.

Wait, what? Where the hell are the mammoth bones?! There better be some serious use-wear/blood residue analysis being undertaken if they want to make the case that people were hunting mammoths based on stone tools alone.


Anonymous said...

I haven't looked at what they're saying in detail myself yet, but I would agree - if they want to claim this as a sign of mammoth hunting then they need to have mammoth bones with cutmarks or something on them to indicate hunting and/or butchery. Otherwise, how can they prove definitively it's mammoths they were hunting and not something else entirely different. It wasn't the only animal on the steppes.

Julien Riel-Salvatore said...

I thought it was just bizarre that they didn't even mention any of the faunal remains when they label the site a 'mammoth hunting site.' Still, at 15 ky BP, the site apparently fleshes out the poorly-known terminal Late Pleistocene sequence of the area, which by itself would make it a valuable discovery. Just not sure about the mammoth angle...