30 000 years ago, the humans that did inhabit the Earth fed on mammoths on a large scale. Biogeologists have proved that the enormous animals were thus subjected to the needs of man. The recently published scientific paper is available online on ScienceDirect database.
The prehistoris site from where the mammoth-eating humans came from is known as Předmostí I. It is situated in the Czech Republic. Its people flourishing 30 000 years ago are commonly referred to as belonging to the Gravettian culture phase. This period is famous for its stone-tool industry that was set up for the sake of hunting. The community seemed to have had great ambitions, going straight for the giant animals.
It was previously known that the people of the pan-European Gravettian culture would use mammoth bones to construct their settlement. The question that the researchers put forth was whether they obtained the bones from carcasses or from hunting. The latter would imply that mammoths were hunted for their flesh to be fed upon by the people themselves.
Hunting mammoths must sure have been a monumental task. Perhaps, Palaeolithic dogs aided the people to attain their goals? Canids remains bearing characteristics of the latter were also found. The researchers then theorised that these animals might have helped to bring down huge mammoths.
To test their hypothesis, the scientists analysed the human and animal fossil bones discovered on the site. The tests generated results confirming the theories: the Gravettian people of Předmostí did feed on mammoth meat. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that the people consumed mammoths in large quantities.
The mammoth was not exploited by the humans only. Other carnivores like brown bears, wolves and wolverines also consumed the meat, perhaps gaining access to fresh carcasses left by human hunters.
Picture credits: Hervé Bocherens
The dogs that probably helped in hunting seemed to prefer reindeer meat, unlike their owners.
People of the past were thus proved to have consumed the colossal mammoths, with the help of dogs.