Return Home

Mysteries of Armenia

Astride Three Elephants

100_1939_mamont_slonDuring the initial stages of the Paleolithic age the man was chiefly engaged in hunting cave bears, saber-toothed tigers and elephants. The penetration of elephants to the territory of Armenia presumably took place 900 thousand years ago, at the beginning of Gunz Ice Age, which predetermined the mass migration of numerous herds to the South. Adapted to the climatic conditions of the Armenian plateau they somewhat differed from their northern congeners that had to stand severe colds. They were only partly overgrown with fur because the glacier had not covered the Mountainous Island. The remains of a Pleistocene elephant were first found by English missionaries in 1856, near the city of Khnus. The very skeleton of the restored Elephas Armeniacus is presently exposed at the British Museum, under the exhibition number 32250. Similar fossils were found near Alexandropol (Gyumri) at the very end of the 19th century, during the building of the Kars-Tbilisi railway. Precisely there, in 1928, archaeologists discovered a whole cemetery of those animals. And in 1982, on the northern shore of Lake Sevan, they found remains of an elephant’s cub. The fossil of Mammuthus trogontherii exposed at the Geological Museum of Armenia is about 700 000 years old. Found in 1932 in the sand sediments of Gyumri (Cossack post), the gigantic inhabitant of the prairies of Shirak basin gives a rough idea of what the remote ancestors of present-day four-legged giants might looked like.

Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Leave a Response