Before the Egyptian pyramids, before Stonehenge, North American Indians drove buffalo herds to their death over prairie cliffs.
Medicine women and men performed rituals to ensure a bountiful hunt. Young runners disguised under animal skins were sent out to find and herd the animals toward the cliffs.
As the buffalo were herded down the narrowing lanes by the runners, and kept from dispersing by stone cairns along the edges of the run, hunters would jump out at the base of the run to keep the panicked animals running towards the cliff edge.
After falling, most were only stunned or wounded. Hunters below the cliffs would kill the survivors to keep them from escaping and warning other herds of the trap, or so it was believed.
The dried meat was used to prepare pemmican, but the remainder of the animal was used for tools and hides, leaving almost no part of the animal unused.