June 3, 2009

Serbia’s Million-Year-Old Mammoth Skeleton

Local media reported on Wednesday that a finely preserved skeleton of a mammoth believed to be around one million years old was uncovered near an archaeological site in eastern Serbia, AFP reported.

Archaeologist Miomir Korac said the skeleton was uncovered during ongoing excavations of the site at Viminacium, a Roman military settlement on the Danube river.

"The skeleton is extremely well preserved, with only a slightly damaged skull," said Zoran Markovic of Serbia's Nature museum.

Markovic told B92 television the skeleton is believed to be about one million years old, based on the layers of the grounds where it was uncovered.

The mammoth was estimated to be over 13 feet and possibly weighing up to 10 tons, according to experts.

B92 reported that the animal could have died near the Danube on its way from northern Africa and to southern Europe.

Fossil remains of a mammoth were found near the northern Serbian town Kikinda in 1996. The half a million year old mammoth was named Kika and soon became a tourist attraction.

Local authorities will organize a "Mammoth fest" on September 6 to celebrate "Kika's 12th birthday," according to its Website www.kika-mamut.com.