An­cient re­mains of mam­moth found at Swiss con­struc­tion site

The China Post - - ARTS -

Mam­moth re­mains that could be around 20,000 years old have been dis­cov­ered at a build­ing site in cen­tral Switzer­land, a lo­cal of­fi­cial said Fri­day.

“It’s a very ex­cit­ing dis­cov­ery, be­cause the last mam­moth find (in the can­ton of Zug) was 50 years ago,” said Re­nata Hu­ber of the can­ton’s her­itage and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal depart­ment.

Dur­ing the con­struc­tion of an of­fice build­ing in the town of Rotkreuz late last month, a heavy dig­ger emerged from the ground lift­ing what ap­peared to be a large tusk, Hu­ber said.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ment spe­cial­ists were im­me­di­ately called in, and sev­eral other bones were later dis­cov­ered, but not enough to re­con­struct a full mam­moth, she added.

“It’s not clear if this is all one an­i­mal,” Hu­ber said, not­ing that the find was not as sig­nif­i­cant as those pre­vi­ously un­earthed in Zurich, which en­abled spe­cial­ists to recre­ate an en­tire car­cass.

Ex­perts will now try to date the re­mains, and spe­cial­ists will stay at the con­struc­tion site un­til they are sat­is­fied that there are no fur­ther bones to be un­cov­ered.

The dis­cov­ery is un­likely to shed any new light on the type of pre­his­toric species that once lived on what is now Swiss land, but Hu­ber said the sig­nif­i­cance of the find should not be un­der­stated.

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