Five ice-age mammoths discovered in Cotswolds after 220,000 years
Some of the unearthed bones have possible butchery marks, according to archaeologists.
To the surprise of archaeologists and paleontologists, five ice-age mammoths in exceptional condition have been discovered in the Cotswolds.
The extensive remains of two adults, two juveniles, and an infant mammoth that roamed over 200,000 years ago near Swindon, along with tools used by Neanderthals, who are most likely the ones who hunted these 10-ton beasts, have been discovered. Because only a portion of the vast site has been excavated, more are expected to be discovered.
The unearthed site is regarded as a goldmine, with the quality of the finds ranging from other ice-age giants, such as elks – twice the size of their descendants today with antlers 10ft across – to small creatures, most notably dung beetles and freshwater snails. This site has also preserved seeds, pollen, and plant fossils, including extinct varieties.
Furthermore, the researchers believe the mammoth remains and artifacts date back to around 220,000 years ago when Britain was still inhabited by Neanderthals during a warmer interglacial period known as MIS7.
Around five million years ago, the first mammoths arrived from Africa. The Steppe mammoth was the largest of them, living from about 1.8 million years ago to about 200,000 years ago.