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23 MIN READ TIME

MAMMOTH HUNTERS

At the same time that new fossil discoveries were revealing the age of dinosaurs, naturalists were also struggling to understand the more recent time of the mammoths. Did mammoths really perish in a global flood? And how did human beings fit into the mammoth story?

The 1820s saw the beginning of a controversy that would take 40 years to settle. Year after year, in place after place, fossil hunters dug up evidence that human beings once lived alongside mammoths and other prehistoric animals of that same period. Yet for decades this evidence was doubted, debated, and rejected. Prehistoric animals were one thing, but many naturalists found the idea of prehistoric humans impossible to accept. The past was divided into distinct ages. Mammoths belonged to one age. Humans belong to another.

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