Vladislav Zhitenev | Cave: sanctuary of mammoth hunters

13 February, 2018

Enigmatic underground sanctuary with wall paintings of mammoths and rhinos found in the caves of France and Spain. Shamans and artists lived in those places during the last Ice Age. Discovery of the same cave sanctuary at 5 thousand kilometers – in Kapova cave, in the Urals – on the border of Europe and Asia, it was an obvious surprise. Could a migration on foot be possible during the Ice Age as no wheeled vehicles and horses existed for travelling such long distances? Do paleogenetics help archaeologists to answer these questions? Did people who painted mammoths hunt these hairy giants, and what is the evidence of this? Why do modern scientists study the ancient practice of traditional medicine mammoth hunters? Research in Kapova cave in the Southern Urals in Russia allows to answer or just begin to answer these questions and many more.

Vladislav Zhitenev is an Associate professor in the Department of Archaeology, Faculty of History of the Lomonosov, Moscow State University and Ηead of the MSU South-Ural archaeological expedition.