May change the perception of hunter-gatherers: scientists have studied a gigantic structure of the Stone Age

May change the perception of hunter-gatherers: scientists have studied a gigantic structure of the Stone Age

A giant structure found in the Baltic Sea may be one of the oldest hunting structures of the Stone Age. It can change the perception of the life of hunter-gatherers more than 10 thousand years ago.

This is reported by CNN with reference to a study published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers from Kiel University in Germany came across an unusual row of stones in 2021. It is located at a depth of 21 meters in the Gulf of Mecklenburg.

The discovery turned out to be a wall of over 1,600 stones with a length of about 1 kilometer. The stones that connected several large boulders were almost perfectly aligned. Therefore, the natural origin of the find was unlikely.

3D model of part of a stone wall in the Baltic Sea. Photo: PNAS

The researchers found that the wall was probably built to hunt reindeer more than 10,000 years ago. It was located along the shoreline of a lake or swamp.

To determine this, scientists analyzed the development of the region. To do this, sediment samples were collected, a 3D model of the wall was created and the landscape in which it was built was virtually reconstructed.

According to the authors of the study, after the end of the last ice age (about 8,500 years ago), the sea level rose significantly, which would have led to the flooding of the wall. However, almost 11 thousand years ago, everything was different.

At that time, the entire population of Northern Europe probably did not exceed 5 thousand people. One of the main sources of food for them were herds of reindeer that seasonally migrated through the sparsely vegetated post-glacial landscape.

“The wall was probably used to direct the deer into a narrow place between it and the adjacent lake shore, or even into the lake, where Stone Age hunters could more easily kill them with their weapons.” – said study co-author Marcel Bradtmeller.

Reconstruction of the original appearance of the stone wall. Photo: P. Hoy/University of Rostock

Hunter-gatherers then used spears, bows, and arrows to catch prey.

A secondary structure could have been used to create the bottleneck, but scientists have yet to find any evidence of this.

According to the co-author of the study, Jacob Gersen, it is likely that the hunters drove the deer into the lake, because they swam slowly.

“Animals seem to be attracted to such linear structures and are more willing to follow the structure without trying to cross it, even if it is only half a meter high.” – he explained.

This discovery changes the way researchers think about hunter-gatherers, who were thought to be highly mobile. The construction of such a massive immovable structure means that in this region they may have been more site-bound than previously thought.

We will remind you that in the USA, an “underwater Stonehenge” over 9 thousand years old was found at the bottom of a lake.

Read also: A “cemetery” of sharks was found in the Mammoth Cave: two new species were identified among them

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