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Bone Circle

20 March 2020

This seems to have been published in the journal Antiquity but various media outlets have spread the news. For example www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51930545 … and www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-03/uoe-mbc031220.php … circles made of the remains of mammoths are fairly common in the Ukaraine and the western Russian plain. Some 70 are known about. The latest one has been dated 20,000 years ago (the height of the Late Glacial Maximum). The bones are said to have an origin in animal graveyards – but little information of these graveyards is supplied. There are so many bones it is unlikely they were just laying around on the surface. A lot of people would be more interested in the nature of the animal graveyards but the research was focussed on trying to ascertain what bone circles were used for – and the study suggests they burned the bones instead of wood (which was in short supply because of the cold nature of the last Ice Age). However, there is evidence they also burned wood so that idea is not one hundred per cent.

The circle was covered in sediments and was situated a foot below the modern surface. Most of the bones came from mammoths but they included reindeer, horse, bear, wolf and fox. Charred wood and soft non-woody plant remains have also been found. Previously it had been thought the circles were former dwellings but there is no evidence people remained at the site for too long. It is basically a mystery. Was the charred wood dug out of the animal graveyard as well? Is that a possibility? In some quarries wood and charred portions of wood are sometimes unearthed from the Jurassic period – yet these bones and wood are much more recent. The structure is 30 feet by 30 feet and includes animal skulls. Were people using the bones as a fuel to provide a source of heat in cold times – or is that an idea that may not have much traction.

See also www.upi.com/Science_News/2020/03/17/Mammoth-bone-circles-hint-at-how-peo…

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