Recently, archaeologists have stated that they have discovered drawings of camels engaged in battle on an unexpected surface: 13,000-year-old mammoth tusks uncovered in Siberia. These are thought to be the earliest drawings ever of camels in Asia.
Why the Love for Camels?
Scientists have looked at a 1.5 meter long tusk with drawings of four different camels and even a human wearing a special camel suit that they have stumbled upon in the lower part of Tom, a river in western Siberia. Researchers consider that the images are of hunters that have disguised themselves as camels so that they can get closer to them, making it easier to kill them. 13,000 years ago sure was an odd time to be a camel in Asia.
One of the drawings even included a camel that was fighting with a different one, suggesting the beginning of the mating season, which is a highly important part of community. It is interesting that the camels that archaeologists have observed on the tusk are just like the camels painted in caves, during the same timeline. Currently, the oldest-known painting was from the Kapova cave, located in the Ural mountains and dating about 19,000 years.
How Is This Special?
There is, however, a crucial difference. One image shows camels fighting between each other and the other shows camels that have wounds inflicted by arrows, suggesting that they have been attacked by humans. As written by the authors, an analysis of the camel’s features prove that the images correspond to the age of the actual tusk. That makes these the oldest images of camels found in Asia.
This is an especially rare find if you consider how few camel bones have been found in the Siberian. The few bones that were uncovered are between 30,000 and 55,000 years old, according to Dr. Elsin. There are also some bones that are about 13,000 years old, but these were uncovered hundreds of miles downstream from their sites.