Construction Uncovers Surprise: Mammoth Bones

Workers in Mexico find remains of about 60 of the giant creatures
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2020 4:04 PM CDT
Construction Uncovers Surprise: Mammoth Bones
An archaeologist works at the site where bones of about 60 mammoths were discovered just north of Mexico.   (INAH via AP)

Archaeologists have found the bones of about 60 mammoths at an airport under construction just north of Mexico City, near human-built "traps" where more than a dozen mammoths were found last year. The discoveries reveal how appealing the area was for mammoths. The National Institute of Anthropology and History said there was no immediate evidence that the 60 mammoths found at the old Santa Lucia military airbase had been butchered by humans, the AP reports. Institute archaeologist Pedro Sánchez Nava said the giant herbivores probably just got stuck in the mud of an ancient lake, Xaltocan, that has since disappeared.

The bones will be studied, however, because Sánchez Nava said humans might have carved up the mammoths once they got stuck. About 15 human burials with simple offerings were found nearby, but they probably dated from 500 to 1,000 years ago, long after the mammoths had disappeared. The work on the airport started late last year, and Sánchez Nava said the existence of mammoth remains there had long been suspected. He said nothing had been found that would require halting work on the airport project. (Another mammoth discovery has stumped archaeologists.)

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