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Prehistoric Puzzle: Submerged Mile-Long Stone Wall Reveals Ingenious Stone-Age Hunting Method

10,000-Year-Old Stone Wall Used to Herd, Kill Reindeer
Source: MEGA

Researchers believe the wall was built to trap and kill reindeer.

Feb. 18 2024, Published 2:04 p.m. ET

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Off the coast of Germany, a fascinating archaeological find has shed light on the hunting practices of ancient peoples.

This discovery, a nearly mile-long structure submerged approximately 69 feet underwater, is believed to have served as a tool for hunter-gatherers around 11,000 years ago.

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Researchers from Kiel University stumbled upon this stone wall in 2021 during a routine training exercise. Using advanced multi-beam sonar technology to map the seafloor of the Bay of Mecklenburg, they noticed an unusual formation.

Further investigation revealed a meticulously constructed wall, less than 3 feet tall in most areas, consisting of over 1,670 stones.

Upon realizing the significance of their find, the researchers enlisted the help of diving teams and autonomous underwater vehicles to study the site.

Analysis suggested that the wall was likely built before the region became submerged, dating back to a time when the area was not covered by water, approximately 8,500-14,000 years ago.

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Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the findings indicate that the wall's purpose was likely to aid in hunting activities, particularly the herding of reindeer.

Dr. Marcel Bradtmöller from the University of Rostock suggests that the structure may have served as a means to corral reindeer into a confined space, making it easier for Stone Age hunters to capture and kill them.

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Interestingly, the wall's design, consisting of small stones arranged alongside larger boulders, suggests deliberate construction rather than a natural formation or modern interference.

This craftsmanship hints at the sophistication of ancient societies, possibly belonging to the Kongemose culture, known for its stone tool artifacts found in Denmark.

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Despite the significance of this discovery, the researchers face challenges in further exploration due to inclement weather and the threat of modern activities like trawling and cable-laying, which could damage or destroy the site.

However, they remain committed to uncovering more evidence of Stone Age habitation in the area, including a second wall discovered nearby. As the team continues their investigation, they hope to unlock more secrets of Europe's ancient past.


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