Mammoth hunting map from Gönnersdorf, 12,500 BC
The sun, winds, animal migrations, and skies say summer’s ending. At Gönnersdorf a calendar says accurately “it’s fall” – the mammoths come. Grand matron prepares everyone for the annual hunt – the battle. “Now scouts, you go north, two-by-two, set up the semaphore chain – GO! Watch for the mammoth herd; on sighting it, light signal fires to semaphore Matron ‘they’re coming!’ Fast!” “We’re returning fast as we can – be ready.” How wonderfully modern, it used to be a runner, but now a six-fire relay talking smoke puffs by day, twirling fire sticks and fire flashes at night.
“Hunters,” says Matron, “kill enough Prezwalski horses to feed all the families during the monster battle. Stone-tool makers and spear makers march to camp south of the Rhine. Everything must be prepared well before the herd passes through the valley. All the families are preparing together for the great event. There, fire flashes and twirling fire sticks make lines. Signal fire six blazes to say “Mammoths! Be ready! They come!” Two dozen – four gigantic fighting bulls! Grand Matron’s fire flashes back – “run in everyone – everyone be here for the battle!”
“Now,” says Matron, “everyone out. Sleep on the ground. All toddlers to the safe ridge to make smoke, yell, and wave branches. All babies in the safe cleft. All children, ladies, old ones – right now,” says Matron, “deepen the stumble pits, and run for flank positions at the signal!”
Etching in stone from Gönnersdorf shows how the Mammoth is processed and carried home.
Inscription on stone from Gönnersdorf, 12,500 BC showing a baby mammoth orphaned.
Detail of a larger etching, Gönnersdorf. A mother desperately pushes a baby Mammoth toward the South, toward the vanishing herd. She fights bravely, charging again and again. She dies; the boys and girls rush toward the “little one” with ropes – it’s so little, it won’t hurt anyone! Little? It was several hundred pounds. They hobble it with ropes; it struggles to stay by mother. It’s caught and captured alive. “Can we keep it?”
Ducks provided food, and down for clothing. Maps from Gönnersdorf show where the duck hunts take place. The area is recognizable when compared to a current topographical map.
Rhine Bluff and Riverway Topographic Map
Map from 12,500 BC or the Rhine