General, Research, Technology

Traces of ancient mammoth hunters can be found even without excavation

The fossilized remains of mammoths are most often possiblefound in Russia, but in the world there are several more places where traces of these ancient giants are found. One of them is the White Sands desert, located in the US state of New Mexico. Here, in the vast area of ​​about 581 square meters, white sand consisting of gypsum crystals lies all year round, which is very reminiscent of snow. Traces of Colombian mammoths are found on this territory now and then, which, due to their habitat in warm conditions, had much less hair than relatives from Eurasia. Recently, paleontologists from Cornell University (USA) managed to find not only their tracks, but also ancient people hunting them.

Ancient people hunted mammoths in the hope of obtaining meat and wool

According to the scientific journal Scientific Reports,to detect 12,000-year-old traces of ancient hunters, paleontologists did not even have to dig the earth. The discovery was made by scanning the surface of the American desert using a device called ground penetrating radar. It allows you to look underground without excavation and is usually used to detect damage on railway lines. Sometimes it is used during archaeological work and, as it turns out, it is effective in detecting fossilized traces.

This is what the White Sands Desert looks like.

How does georadar work?

GPR is capable of working on variousinvestigated environments, whether it be soil, rocky mountains or even fresh water. The three main parts of this device are the transmitting and receiving antenna, the registration unit in the form of a laptop and the control unit, which is a lot of different wires.

By the way, using a similar technology, a sunken temple and a treasure ship were found in Egypt.

The principle of operation of georadars is almost the samelike other varieties of radars. The device sends electromagnetic waves to the test medium, which are reflected from solid objects below. Based on the data obtained back, scientists can create an idea of ​​the shape of the object below.

Paleontologists study the depths of the earth using GPR

How ancient people and animals walked

Using ground penetrating radar, scientists found tracesColombian mammoths and ancient people hunting them. Such finds are extremely rare today, so the discovered 800 meters of traces are very interesting to researchers. At the moment, in addition to the fact that hunters could hunt mammoths in the hope of getting meat and fur, they can not tell anything interesting. But the prospects for using ground penetrating radars in paleontology are very large.

Colombian mammoths were covered with a small amount of fur because they lived in relatively warm places

Traces found underground can tellnot only about the movement of our ancient ancestors and ancient giants, but also about many other aspects of their lives. For example, fossilized prints perfectly illustrate the size of the legs, especially gait, speed of movement, and even how people and animals interact.

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According to paleontologist Lisa Buckley, who doesn’tparticipated in the above study, but knows about its results, the use of GPR in the study of the ancient world is very great. Even if her colleagues cannot find the remains of people and animals, the traces left by them can tell about their lives and the features of the body structure.