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For decades, archaeologists have found in western Russia and Ukraine dozens of structures made from mammoth skin and bones what believed to be the dwellings of ancient hunter-gatherers and that were abandoned during the Ice Age.
However, a recent find has marked a new size record in constructions of this type.
The structure reaches 12.5 meters in diameter and is made up of the bones of about 60 woolly mammoths.
The discovery was made in an excavation at a site dating from the Upper Palaeolithic near the town of Kostenki, a kind of archaeological mecca which is located on the bank of the Don River in the Voronezh region, about 500 kilometers south of Moscow.
This "bone hut»Was discovered at the Kostenki-11 site in 2013, then the excavations continued for about three years and the analysis of the collected materials took several more years.
Radioisotope dating showed that this stands out not only for its size, but also for its age, which also sets a record for such structures.
Experts estimate that it is about 25,000 years old, explains a statement from the British University of Exeter published on the PHYS portal.
What is the mammoth bone hut like and what was it for?
Like other similar structures, the hut is surrounded by several wells, whose purpose is unknown, although it is believed that they were used as garbage dumps or food storage.
Researchers identified 51 lower jaws and 64 mammoth skulls in the construction.
Other remains found at the site include bones of horses, bears, wolves, reindeer, red foxes and Arctic.
They were also discovered three large pits filled with large mammoth bones next to the edge of the circle.
Although the function of these types of structures is not clear, scientists suggest that could serve as temporary dwellings or places for the performance of ritualsAs the eastern Europeans of that distant era mostly led hunter-gatherer lives and did not typically build large buildings.
«These findings shed new light on the purpose of these mysterious sites. Archeology is showing us more about how our ancestors survived in this desperately cold and hostile environment at the climax of the last ice age. Most places at similar latitudes in Europe had been abandoned by this time, but these groups managed to adapt to find food, shelter and water."Said Alexander Pryor, the director of the study.