Humans hunting a Notiomastodon platensis calf. Pleistocene, archaeological region Lagoa Santa Karst, Brazil.
The scene is based on the skull of a ~1 year old Notiomastodon showing a perforation caused by a human artifact. The nature and location of the perforation indicates that the blow was struck to kill the animal, showing unprecedented evidence that humans hunted proboscids in South America.
It is interesting to note that the depicted woman is based on the skull reconstruction of "Luzia", one of the oldest and most important South American human fossils. She prepares to strike the calf that is falling on its right side, a position inferred by the direction of the perforation.
The illustration was made in 2016 under the invitation and supervision of Leonardo Avilla and Dimila Mothé, and is a figure of their publication. It was a pleasure to illustrate this important finding!
Check the paper here:
Mothé, D., Avilla, L. S., Araújo-Júnior, H. I., Rotti, A., Prous, A., & Azevedo, S. A. K. (2020). An artifact embedded in an extinct proboscidean sheds new light on human-megafaunal interactions in the Quaternary of South America. Quaternary Science Reviews, 229, 106125. doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.20…