Was the head chopped off as a trophy or a sacrifice?
The discovery of a 40,000-year-old wolf’s head beneath the Siberian permafrost was certainly exciting for scientists but they may have found more than just Ice Age remains. A new report suggests that the gigantic wolf may have been decapitated on purpose by ancient hunters.
The wolf’s head was initially discovered in the Arctic Circle by a man named Pavel Efimov in 2018. However, scientists only announced the discovery a year later as they continue to study the huge specimen. Although it was initially believed that the head was severed by ice after the ancient creature’s death, researchers are also open to the possibility that it was decapitated by humans during the Ice Age.
The idea of ancient hunters chopping off the head of a huge wolf is certainly interesting. After all, it is believed that humans didn’t live in the northern area of icy Yakutia 40,000 years ago. However, if they did, the decapitation of the wolf would be the first evidence of their existence in the region.
For now, scientists are choosing to believe that there is a natural explanation for the wolf’s decapitation.
“Our suggestion is that the head was separated by ice,” Dr. Albert Protopopov, a Russian scientist involved in the study, had said. “There are characteristic traces on the soft tissues, presumably left while the tissue was fresh or even alive.
“The effect is like an axe or sharp big knife. But we do not exclude that it could have been cut artificially … a meticulous study is needed,” he added.
The head is said to be bigger than that of a contemporary Siberian Gray wolf but smaller than the modern Arctic wolves. However, scientists stated that the skull is more highly developed than wolves today.
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