Archaeologists Reveal Hunting, Butchering Of Elephants By Ancient Humans


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A study published in early 2024 detailed how Homo erectus, an early species of human unrelated to Homo sapiens, hunted elephants through Israel.

Extensive Paleolithic stone quarries in Galilee, Israel, reveal continuous use by early humans, suggesting generation after generation of our cousins (or maybe us, we really don’t know enough about ancient humans) — Homo erectus — returned to the site to create stone tools to aid in the hunt and butcher of elephants, according to a study published in the journal Archaeologies. The site was in use as far back as almost 2 million years ago and was still the site of activity 500,000 years ago.

Using migration routes of elephants suggested in earlier studies, combined with ancient quarry sites, scientists argued that Homo erectus not only mined the site for tools but left offerings during their hunts.

“An elephant consumes 400 liters [105 gallons] of water a day, on average, and that’s why it has fixed movement paths. These are animals that rely on a daily supply of water, and therefore on water sources — the banks of lakes, rivers and streams,” the study’s co-author Meir Finkel said in a statement. “In many instances, we discover elephant hunting and processing sites at “necessary crossings” — where a stream or river passes through a steep mountain pass, or when a path along a lakeshore is limited to the space between the shore and a mountain range.”

The researchers identified a slew of other potential sites of similar activity. These include Olduvai, Tanzania; Manzanares Valley, Torralba and Ambrona, Spain; and Wonderboom, South Africa. (RELATED: Ancient Burial Site May Have Been Used By Humans, Neanderthals For Millennial, Scientists Reveal)

Further analysis is required to ascertain how prevalent these stone sites were used by ancient humans. If so, it suggests that tradition and purpose are an innate part of the human experience. And I think that is just so nice.