7.5 million-year-old Primitive Elephant Skull found in Turkey's Kayseri (Image Credit-Hürriyet Daily News)
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A Primitive Elephant Skull Found in Turkey’s Central Part

Turkey’s central part has recently hosted a ground-breaking paleontological improvement in Kayseri, a central Anatolian city in Turkey. An archaeological excavation team unearthed a 7.5-million-year-old complete primitive elephant skull fossil. They believe that the fossil belongs to Choerolophodon Pentelic, which is the ancestor of elephants. The team considers this as proving to be a significant find. According to the head of the excavation team, this find may change the paleontology history.

Yamula Dam Lake in Turkey's Kayseri district
Yamula Dam Lake in Turkey’s Kayseri district

Where Exactly Did They find the Primitive Elephant Skull?

The team found the primitive elephant skull on the shore of Yamula Dam Lake in Kayseri province last year. Then, one of the few experts on Proboscidea, a taxonomic order of afrotherian mammal, in the world conducted its examination. Kayseri Municipality shared the information with the public.

Juha Saarinen a professor at the University of Helsinki's Department of Geosciences and Geography
Juha Saarinen a professor at the University of Helsinki’s Department of Geosciences and Geography

Juha Saarinen, a professor at the University of Helsinki’s Department of Geosciences and Geography, came to Kayseri. Further, the academic completed the last examinations on the skull. Thus, the importance of the find became much clearer.

Working at the Discovery Site Continues

Okşan Başoğlu, head of the excavation team which continues working at the discovery site, informed the city’s mayor, Memduh Büyükkılıç, about the process. Başoğlu said the Finnish scientist Saarinen “worked on the big and complete skull for two full days.”

Okşan Başoğlu head of the excavation team in Kayseri excavation site
Okşan Başoğlu head of the excavation team in Kayseri excavation site

“This will be published in a very respected journal abroad because it is a very significant fossil,” she quoted Saarinen as saying. Başoğlu also added that it will be the reference point for them. What’s more, soon the names of Kayseri and Yamula will take their place in world literature.

Will Kayseri be a Center for Paleontology?

According to Okşan Başoğlu, the head of the excavation team, it is a very essential development for Turkey, and Kayseri, in particular. So, she said that Kayseri, in one sense, will be a center of paleontology. By saying that she referred to the study of the history of life on Earth based on fossils.

She said studies in the laboratory are ongoing without any pause.

Primitive Elephant Skull is the complete skull fossil belonging to Choerolophodon Pentelic
Primitive Elephant Skull is the complete skull fossil belonging to Choerolophodon Pentelic

Büyükkılıç emphasized their support for the scientist and expressed pleasure over the developments regarding the fossil.

Saarinen stated that the complete skull fossil belonging to Choerolophodon Pentelic is the only sample in the world. Moreover, it is larger in mass than elephant fossils at other contemporary localities in the world. As for Saarinen, the eminent scientist has worked in many areas from Europe to the Middle East and China to the U.S. So, he is a competent scientist in the field.

Turkey’s Growing Space in Scientific Developments

It was noted that when looking at a fully preserved and unique skull specimen and other fossils found in the province, he said, Kayseri would be a reference for paleontology in the world.

Archaeologists have so far found samples of giraffes, four to five species known as the ancestors of elephants, rhinoceroses, three-hoofed horses, and hornets in the excavation work carried out in the region since 2017.

Goddess Figurine found in Turkey's Izmir
Goddess Figurine found in Turkey’s Izmir

From Mother Goddess Figurine to Primitive Elephant Skull

Lately, another archaeological excavation works conducted in Izmir had unearthed a mother goddess figurine in Izmir. Thanks to the excavations, the former estimations for the age of the city had changed. Now experts believe that the city is about 8,500 years, instead of the previous 5,000-years-old estimations.

Thanks to the excavations, the former estimations for the age of the city have changed. Now experts believe that the city is about 8,500 years, instead of the previous 5,000-years-old estimations. That is, by the way, quite a notable revelation. Archaeologists and excavations workers unearthed some nine villages at the site. As a result of the excavations, one after the other, there have come some important findings.

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