Archaeologists have discovered a Stone Age ‘kill site’ full of mammoth remains where ancient people used to herd the large mammals so they could be killed and butchered.

The discovery was made during roadworks on a new bypass near Drasenhofen, a town in the Austrian state of Lower Austria.

Researchers found massive mammoth tusks and bones as well as the remains of other large animals.

Stone Age tools were found at the 16-square-metre site as well.

A view of the ‘kill site’ being excavated (Photo: CEN/ Asfinag)

Martin Krenn of the Austrian Federal Monuments Office said: ‘The Palaeolithic kill site is the first to be excavated in Austria and was analysed using state-of-the-art methods.

‘It gives us a sensational overview of the Palaeolithic people’s way of life.’

Ancient civilisations used to strategically drive large animals, including mammoths, into the death zones.

Areas were pre-selected by humans that they knew were difficult for mammoths to traverse, giving them a clear advantage over the giant woolly mammal.

They would then kill mammoths using spears and butcher them on site.

Mammoths went extinct just 3600 years ago
Stone Age humans worked together to take down large animals like woolly mammoths

The site where the mammoth bones are located is estimated to be between 18,000 and 28,000 years old.

At a nearby site, where road workers are constructing a roundabout, graves attributed to the Bell-Beaker people were found.

The Beaker culture was a prehistoric civilisation native to western and Central Europe which started in the late Neolithic period and lasted until the early Bronze Age.

Archaeologists think the graves date from between 2,600 and 2,200 BC.

In total, €2.4 million (£2.16 million) will be invested in the archaeological excavations before the new motorway bypass opens in autumn 2019.


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