General, Research, Technology

The ancient inhabitants of Russia built houses from the bones of mammoths

About 20 thousand years ago, the territory of modernRussia was a very harsh place. The ground was covered with ice and snow, and bloodthirsty predators and huge mammoths walked around, so the local inhabitants had to make a lot of efforts to survive. And their lifestyle was very strange, as evidenced by the remains of a large structure made of bones of mammoths and other animals found in the Voronezh region. What is it that turns out - the ancient people were so short of wood that they hunted huge mammoths, ate their meat and used bones to build houses?

The growth of mammoths reached 5.5 meters, and weight - 15 tons

According to Cambridge University Press Center(England), the remains of a house made of bones were found in the Voronezh region, where several places in which ancient people lived were located at once. These places are better known as “Kostenkovsky sites” because they were found near the villages of Kostenki and Borshchevo. At present, 26 sites have been discovered in this territory - it is believed that ancient people moved to these parts in search of fresh water. An unusual construction of bones was found in the parking lot "Kostenki 11". The object interested scientists in that it was clearly not used for housing.

The Kostenki 11 parking lot was discovered in 1949 by a local resident while digging a cellar

Ancient buildings in Russia

During the excavation, scientists managed to find bones 64woolly mammoths. In addition to the skulls, they found 51 fragments of the lower jaws, as well as the remains of reindeer, horses, bears, wolves and other wild animals. Bones were used to build walls, but there was no roof near the structure. This is not surprising, because the diameter of the structure is as much as 12.5 meters and to cover it with a roof would be extremely problematic. The question arises - why did ancient people live in large structures without a roof? After all, we have already said that 20 thousand years ago, terrible cold reigned in the territory of present-day Russia.

It is believed that mammoths and humans shared common genetic traits that helped them cope with the cold. Read about how scientists learned about this in our special article.

In general, archaeological discoveries in Russia are not a rare occurrence. Recently, a severed wolf head over 40,000 years old was found in Siberia. Look at her photos

Ancient rituals

According to scientists, the building was not usedfor housing, but it was something like a "temple of the mammoths", where various rituals could be held. Inside the structure were excavated tools for carving animals, as well as the remains of plants suitable for eating and making medicines and tissues. And next to the building, scientists found three large pits, inside of which also lay the bones of mammoths. So the version that the house of mammoth bones was used for ritual purposes sounds quite convincing. It is noteworthy that the first structures from the bones of mammoths and other animals were discovered by scientists in 1950-1960, but they were much younger and smaller than the new structure. According to archaeologist Marjolein Bosch, the construction of this structure clearly took a lot of time and the fact that the construction was nevertheless completed proves its importance for ancient people.

The age of the bone structure is estimated at 25 thousand years.

If you think logically, then ancient people certainlythey wouldn’t build houses for themselves from the bones of animals. They probably had more suitable building materials, because in the parking lots, scientists many times found traces of charcoal. But for the construction of the ritual construction of the bone could well come in handy. If ancient people sincerely believed in the effectiveness of their rituals, they really would have spared no effort in extracting bones. This is how much labor was invested in building a house of bones? Ancient people not only risked their lives when hunting mammoths, but also dragged their heavy bones behind them and neatly stacked them on top of each other.

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Be that as it may, scientists intend to continueto study the sites of ancient people in the Voronezh region. Perhaps they will be able to find new artifacts that will tell more about ancient rituals. And while they are busy with work, we strongly recommend that you read our material on why ancient people ate each other's food. It’s even scary to think about it, but cannibalism is found even in our days.