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Oil workers make mammoth find

By Kate Baklitskaya
30 March 2015

Remains of extinct giant unearthed in excavation in Khanty-Mansi.

Paleontology museum expert Anton Rezvy, head of the palaeontological department of the Khanty-Mansiysk Museum of Nature and Man, was quickly at the scene of the find. Picture: Anton Rezvy

A tusk of the female woolly mammoth appeared in an excavator bucket as the oil workers were undertaking land reclamation work some 50km from Nyagan.

They started digging with hand shovels and found more of the creature, including a second tusk,  tibia, ribs, and fragments of the animal's teeth and jaw, at a depth of three metres.

Paleontology museum expert Anton Rezvy, head of the palaeontological department of the Khanty-Mansiysk Museum of Nature and Man, was quickly at the scene of the find, and estimated it was at least 10,000 years old, with the creature being around 30-40 years of age when she died. 

'We can send the find to determine the radiocarbon date,' he said. 'Genetic analysis will help to determine which population this mammoth was from - European or North American.' 

Mammoth in Khanty-Mansi


Vladimir Bednyakov

Oil worker Vladimir Bednyakov said:  'I noticed something in the excavator bucket. It turned to be a mammoth tusk'. Pictures: Anton Rezvy

Rezvy has previously revealed to The Siberian Times evidence of how man hunted the woolly mammoth in ancient time. 

Sputnik news service said of the latest discovery: 'Specialists plan to study how the mammoth ended up in this area, and to find out, with the help of micropaleontological analysis, whether this was the animal's home, or whether it had migrated here.'

The oil workers are choosing a name for the mammoth. Oil worker Vladimir Bednyakov said:  'I noticed something in the excavator bucket. 

'It turned to be a mammoth tusk. We have the rule - if we find something, we stop the work and call the bosses. But I was also interested myself, in what this was.

'I took the shovel and began to dig .... found more remains, the second tusk, teeth and other bones.'

Rezvy added: 'The finds have been transferred to the museum. They should be carefully defrosted so the tusks and teeth fragments do not crack, then cleaned, fixed and restored. This may take from six months to a year.'
He thanked the employees of oil company Rosneft for the care they took with the mammoth find. 

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