Thursday, July 06, 2006

MORE ON EARLY BRITS-only 400,000 years ago!

Remains of a single adult elephant surrounded by stone tools have recently been found in northwest Kent during work on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Bones and tusks dating back 400,000 years are the earliest signs in Britain of ancient humans butchering elephants for meat, say archaeologists in the Journal of Quaternary Science.

The skeleton found was an extinct species of elephant that lay on the edge of what would once have been a small lake. "Its the earliest site of elephant butchery in Britain," Dr. Francis Wenban-Smith of the University of Southampton told the BBC News website. "In fact, it is the only such site in Britain and it is very rare to find undisturbed evidence of this kind," continued Dr. Wenban-Smith.

He proposes that the elephant, twice the size of today's animals, was probably brought down by hunters armed with wooden spears. Or possibly they could have found it in an injured state and then killed it. There is no evidence of fire so they probably ate their meat raw. Other large animals, bones of buffalo, rhino, deer and horse were also found nearby and were probably also feasted upon by these prehistoric people.

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