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Nova: Ice Age Death Trap
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From the scientists involved (and with the help of some adequate CGI), the viewer receives a crash course in the ecology of Pleistocene North America, the science behind ice ages in general, and the evolution of this particular site over tens of thousands of years--from lake, to bog, to meadow. The team (which includes experts in geology, paleontology, paleobotany, and evolutionary biology) examines several lines of evidence, concluding that the mass grave is probably the result of "liquefaction" from earthquakes sucking heavy beasts into the lake bed. But for all they learn about the site, new questions arise. Why are all the bones those of herbivores, without even any signs of scavenging on the bodies? Where are the predators and scavengers? Where are the saber-toothed cats, short-faced bears, and dire wolves?
And what of the 40,000-year-old mammoth covered in seemingly out-of-place boulders? It reminds at least one of the scientists involved of a known method ancient hunters used to cache large kills at the bottoms of lakes. Additionally, one of these bones has marks on it that don't seem consistent with gnawing or contact with rocks.Read more ›
The program is topped off by a sensational find: a mammoth carcass which seems to have been anchored to the bottom of the lake by boulders. This was standard practice among Paleo-Indians, but there is one problem: the mammoth remains are believed to be over 40,000 years old. However, according to conventional wisdom, humans didn't reach the Americas until about 15,000 years ago. Weirdly, this find is not discussed at the official site of the dig, the Snowmastodon Project. Too hot?
Since mastodons frankly aren't my cup of tea (or first love), I found "Ice Age Death Trap" pretty boring, until the pre-Clovis discovery. Fortean honey traps can show up in the most unexpected of places. Even at Snowmass, Colorado.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting and well done documentary on a mastodon death trap. Would recommend to anyone interested in fossils and prehistoric life.Published on September 6, 2013 by J. B. Reinschmidt
I live near Snowmass Village Co. Went to see the dig and asked about a CD, the office recommended this CD and it's wonderful. I can't believe that I found it on Amazon! Thanks.Published on March 17, 2013 by Mary J. Ashkiilgaii