October 1, 2022
Fossilised tusk from giant ancient elephant found in Israel- BPN TODAY

Fossilised tusk from giant ancient elephant found in Israel

A fossilised tusk from a giant prehistoric elephant that once roamed around the Mediterranean has emerged from an excavation site in southern Israel, offering what archaeologists said was a rare insight into the life of early inhabitants of the area.

The 2.5-metre-long tusk from the ancient straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) is estimated to be around half a million years old and was found in an area where stone and flint tools and other animal remains have been recovered.

“This is the largest complete fossil tusk ever found at a prehistoric site in Israel or the Near East,” Israel Antiquities Authority prehistorian Avi Levy, the director of the excavation, said in a statement.

Omry Barzilai of Israel Antiquities Authority, shows ancient prehistoric tools found at the site where a 2.5-meter-long tusk from an ancient straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) was discovered, near Kibbutz Revadim in southern Israel on August 31 2022. - Dr. Eitan Mor, a biologist from Jerusalem, was the first to discover the fossil. He visited the area out of curiosity after reading about prehistoric elephants. Mor says, “To my surprise, I spotted something that looked like a large animal bone peeping out of the ground. When I looked closer, I realised that it was ‘the real thing’, so I rushed to report it to the Israel Antiquities Authority". (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

Parts of tools were also found at the same site. Photo: AFP

The now-extinct species, much larger than African elephants, was part of the rich fauna of the area, including wild cattle and horses, deer, wild boars and hippopotamuses and was hunted by humans for food and possibly for symbolic purposes.

“We anticipate that the discovery of the new tusk in a clear archaeological context will shed light on this issue,” Dr Omry Barzilai from the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

Once the conservation process is complete, the tusk will be displayed at a permanent exhibition hall in the National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel in Jerusalem.

Archaeologists, paleontologists and conservators from Israel Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University, work at the site where a 2.5-meter-long tusk from an ancient straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) was discovered, near Kibbutz Revadim in southern Israel on August 31 2022. - Dr. Eitan Mor, a biologist from Jerusalem, was the first to discover the fossil. He visited the area out of curiosity after reading about prehistoric elephants. Mor says, “To my surprise, I spotted something that looked like a large animal bone peeping out of the ground. When I looked closer, I realised that it was ‘the real thing’, so I rushed to report it to the Israel Antiquities Authority". (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

The find will go on display once conservation work is finished. Photo: AFP

– Reuters

 
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