In 1965, in Mezhyrich, Ukraine, excavations uncovered 4 huts, made up of 149 mammoth bones. Being at least 15,000 years old

February 15, 2024

These structures are over 25 thousand years old.

In 1965, excavations in Mezhyrich, Ukraine, revealed the presence of 4 huts,  made up of a | PeakD

In 1965, a farmer decided to expand his cellar in the Ukrainian village of Mezhyrich, then part of the Soviet Union. Digging two meters below the level of the ground, his tools struck something strange. Calling in local paleontologists to have a look, further poking around uncovered something remarkable. The discovery would redefine the way we look at the people of the Ice Age.

What the farmer had come across was an upside-down mammoth skull, stuck inside another mammoth skull. When the paleontologists started digging, they discovered that this was only a small part of a big chain of mammoth skulls. These were formed in a ring, which made up the base of what could only be some sort of a structure.

According to the scientists, this was probably a hut, one of the earliest examples of architecture in human history. Amazingly, ancient hunter-gatherers took the time to construct elaborate buildings in the middle of the Ice Age. Thousands of years before civilization started, people of the Paleolithic were building houses on the vast, icy tundra.

Mezhyrich / Межиріч - Mammoth Camp

The design was quite ingenious. The primary source of material was the woolly mammoth, an animal which could reach heights of 3.5 meters and weigh around 6 tons. This first structure from Mezhyrich contained the remains of 95 of these majestic creatures.

Huge mammoth tusks were used to form a support for the roof. The outer parts of the hut were composed of mandibles, the shoulder blades, and the pelvic bones of the animals. To finish it off, the builders probably covered the hut with the skins of mammoths or of other prehistoric animals.

The Gontsy mammoth bone hut site

Even more amazing was the fact that this was not the only structure on the spot. Subsequently, three other similar huts were found. All made of mammoth bones! These things are quite heavy, and it must have taken a considerable effort for the ancient hunter gatherers to drag the material to the site of their village and then assemble them together.