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Abstracts: T - Z

REPLACEMENT OF Mammuthus primigenius AND Palaeoloxodon naumanni ACCOMPANYING CLIMATE CHANGE IN JAPAN (L)

Keiichi TAKAHASHI1, Yuji SOEDA2, Goro YAMADA2, Morio AKAMATSU2, Masami IZUHO3, and Kaori AOKI4

1 Lake Biwa Museum, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-0001, Japan
2 Historical Museum of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Hokkaido 004-0006, Japan
3 Sapporo Buried Cultural Property Center, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-0922, Japan
4 Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8567, Japan

In the Japanese Islands, two kinds of proboscidean fossils, Mammuthus primigenius and Palaeoloxodon naumanni, are known from Late Pleistocene sediments. P. naumanni has been found from Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu Islands, and also from the seabed off the coast. In contrast, M. primigenius has been found only from Hokkaido. Therefore the distributions of these species overlap in Hokkaido. However, as a result of investigating in detail those ages of occurrence, P. naumanni has been found from the sediment dated at ca. 120,000 y.BP and 30,000 y.BP, and M. primigenius has been found from the sediment dated at ca. 60,000-40,000 y.BP and 20,000 y.BP.

It has been considered that P. naumanni inhabited Hokkaido ca. 120,000 y.BP, which oxygen isotope analysis indicates to have been stage 5e, the warmest period in the last interglacial epoch. From the plant macrofossils and pollen analysis of the horizon from which P. naumanni was excavated, it was assumed that cool-temperate forest composed of deciduous broad-leaved trees (Quercus sp., Juglans mandshurica, Corylus sp. Alnus japonica, Magnolia kobus, Staphylea bumalda, Styrax obassia, Styrax japonicus and Fagus crenata) and conifers (Abies sachalinensis and Picea glehni) was present. Styrax japonicus and Fagus crenata are presently found in the temperate zone southward from the southern-end of Hokkaido (Yano, 1972, 1978). This indicates that ca. 120,000 y.BP in this area climate was warmer than at present. Another P. naumanni fossil was found from a horizon dated at ca. 30,000 y.BP. Some comparatively warm spells were identified by an increase in Abies and Ulmus during ca. 34,000-26,000 y.BP (Hoshino and Kosaka, 1978; Igarashi et al., 1990; Ono and Igarashi, 1991).

On the other hand, it is clear that M. primigenius was found ca. 60,000-40,000 y.B.P. and 20,000 y.BP in Hokkaido. In those ages forest taiga dominated by Picea glehni and Picea jezoensis and comprising also Pinus pumila, Larix gmelini and Larix kamtschatica were present even in the southern part of Hokkaido (Igarashi et al., 1989).

These data show that the replacement of two kinds of Proboscidea in the northern part of the Japanese Islands took place under, and were probably driven by, conditions of climate change in the Late Pleistocene.


Janis D. TREWORGY1, Jeffrey J. SAUNDERS2, David A. GRIMLEY3, Richard JUDKINS4, Lindsay MORSE4, and Ramona VAN RIPER4

1 Earth Sciences Department, Principia College, Elsah, IL 62028 USA
2 Illinois State Museum Research and Collection Center, 1920 S. 10 ½ Street, Springfield, IL 62703 USA
3 Illinois State Geological Survey, 615 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign, IL 61820 USA
4 Principia College, Elsah, IL 62028 USA

Students at Principia College, a four-year liberal arts college, are participating in a paleontological dig as part of a geology field course that meets an all-college science requirement. Remains of a mammoth have been found that presumably are those of a woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius, based on its geological age placement and depositional environment. The excavation site is on the Principia College campus, located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River at Elsah, Illinois, USA, near the confluence of the Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers. The site is a high upland area about 0.4 km from the edge of the bluffs in an open area surrounded by dormitories.

The Principia mammoth was found at a depth of about 2 m within a highly leached, yellow-brown loess unit known regionally as the Peoria Silt (late Wisconsin Episode). Total loess thickness (Peoria and Roxana Silts) at the site is about 9.5 m. Lower Carboniferous limestone forms the bedrock, which is estimated to be 1 to 2 m deeper. The mammoth is a mature male, estimated to have been (1) 39 to 43 years of age (AEY) based on its teeth, (2) about 3.3 m in height at the shoulders based on the length of the humerus, and (3) living about 17,500 (14C) years ago based on its stratigraphic position within the Peoria Silt. The skull is inverted and, except for the M3s and ventral proximal portions of the tusks, still unexcavated. The tusks and M3s are intact, as the skull also appears to be. The mandible is missing. Limb bones, ribs, and vertebrae appear to be somewhat rearranged on a flat paleosurface, indicating only minor disturbance of the remains.

Students come to understand the scientific process through their participation in all aspects of this scientific research project. They gain background information about mammoths, the Pleistocene Epoch, and other mammoth excavations from videos and the literature. Readings are from books written for the general public and scientific books and articles on details of mammoths such as osteology and theories of extinction. Field trips to other excavation sites and museums have enriched the Principia project. Experts in vertebrate paleontology at the Illinois State Museum and in Quaternary geology at the Illinois State Geological Survey have guided various aspects of the project, including planning the excavation, digging and sampling techniques, identifying bones, and understanding the geology. Students learn to actively participate in discussions with geologists about (1) observations at the dig site; (2) data collection methods; (3) hypotheses development for various aspects of the mammoth—his demise, his state of preservation, the time period in which he lived; and (4) hypotheses testing based on new observations and data.

Students have many opportunities to share their growing knowledge with site visitors— both spontaneous drop-ins and scheduled school groups and news reporters. Students also participate in site management and are excited to make real-life decisions and implement them: to protect the pit from rain, manage crowds, and decide how to bury the bones for the winter. The students take pride in keeping the site clean and organized. Their final task is to write a progress report to a hypothetical funding agency. This report includes a review of the literature pertinent to our site, a section on methods of study, our findings and their scientific significance, a discussion of various hypotheses being considered, and our progress in testing them.


Vladimir E. TUMSKOY

Geoecological Research laboratory of the North, Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, Russia

Preservation rates of the remains of members of the mammoth fauna depend on their burial conditions and further stay in deposits. Such conditions are determined by the geological structure of the area and processes which rework the deposits. Within the permafrost area, specific cryogenic processes are developed. Their nature and intensity are strongly influenced not only by composition of deposits, but their ice content and ice distribution in them as well. Thus, cryogenic processes depend considerably on climatic conditions.

On Novaya Sibir Island (Novosibirskie Islands archipelago) frozen quaternary deposits are widespread across most of the area. They are composed of various facies of the Middle Pleistocene and older marine deposits. Their volume ice content is up to 50%. They are overlapped with high ice content (80-90%) loam and sandy loam deposits with syngenetic ice wedges. Ice wedge width is ca. 2,5-3 m, and ground block dimension between them is 5-15 m. Such deposits are known as Ice-Complex (IC), and they are widespread on the Novosibirskie islands and within the Northern Yakutia lowlands. On Novaya Sibir Island discoveries of mammoth fauna remains are connected with IC (see abstract of P. Nikolskiy in this volume).

The IC thickness is determined by top relief of underlying marine deposits. Within the paleovalleys which dissect marine deposits, IC thickness is 10-20 m, and only 2-5 m between them. In some places the IC is eroded and underlying marine deposits crop out. Within the paleovalleys the IC deposits are mostly alluvial-type, and on the watersheds, slope processes could also influence their formation.

At the Late Pleistocene-Holocene boundary (11 - 10,5 BP according to the series of 14C dates) the IC deposits started to thaw due to formation of thermokarst lakes, thermal planation and thermoerosion. These processes removed the IC deposits completely from watersheds or reduced them to their modern thickness. Now the IC deposits are mostly preserved in the southern part of the island, whereas marine deposits form the topography of the northern part.

Due to low thickness of the IC on watersheds and prevalence of thermal planation processes, IC degradation caused the formation of dome-type (not cone-type) thermokarst mounds. Many mammoth skeletons were redeposited in situ and partly removed. Thus on the Novaya Sibir (and probably on the Faddeevskiy) island there are many mammoth skeleton burials on watersheds.

On watershed slopes and within river valleys fauna remnants were removed and there are almost no whole skeletons except in small rills, where skeletons have just been exposed by erosion.

After the complete IC thawing, enclosed bones were protected in situ or redeposited on the surface of the marine deposits. Skeleton burials are possible in favorable conditions, but due to their high ice content, marine deposits are subjected to solifluction and mud flows (rapid solifluction). These processes led to further removal of bones mostly into rill and river valleys. Then bones were transported along river beds towards the sea shore, where secondary piles of mixed bone material were formed as a result of coastal processes.

Thus, due to peculiarities of IC bedding containing mammoth fauna remnants and various cryogenic activities, there are many skeleton burials on IC-composed watersheds and isolated bone occurrences on the slopes and river valleys.


Sergey VARTANYAN1 and Alexei TIKHONOV2

1 Wrangel Island State Reserve, Pevek, Chukotka, Russia
2 Laboratory of Theriology, Zoological Institute Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint-Petersburg 199034, Russia

Recently we started reconnaissance paleogeographical and paleozoological explorations on the territory of Western Chukotka. Documentation of the habitat conditions of mammoths and mammoth fauna, and determination of mammoth extinction time with disintegration of the mammoth complex of mammals on the mainland territories directly adjacent to Wrangel Island, were the main aims of these investigations. Such study will help to reconstruct the means of colonization of mammoth on Wrangel Island in the Holocene, and to understand the reason for its absence on the island in the interval between 12 and 8 thousand years ago. Probably the Holocene refugium of mammoths on the mainland will be found. The valleys of Kuvet and Pegtymel Rivers, the coast of the East Siberian Sea as far as Billings Cape (Valkarai lowland), and Chaun Bay with Ayon Island (Chaun-Rauchua lowland) were surveyed. These regions were selected considering the bathymetry of the bottom of the East-Siberian Sea, because Wrangel Island separated from these regions of the mainland at the last moment. As a result of our expeditions a large collection of the animal remains from Western Chukotka was collected and some radiocarbon dates from the Pegtymel River mammoth materials were obtained. Addition of the new materials from the mainland to the existing vast paleontological collection supplements it with valuable new specimens. It is interesting to note that between the western coast of Chaun Bay and Valkarai lowland we found principally different situations relating to collection of bone remains. Bones of mammoths and other animals are very rare in the Valkarai lowland (lower Pegtymel River), in spite of a continuous series of radiocarbon dates from below-cutoff dates until 12500 BP, which demonstrates the constant presence of mammoth during the end of the Late Pleistocene. Within the limits of the Chaun-Rauchua lowland the situation is different, because there the friable deposits of the glacial complex, 50-60 m thick, include numerous bone remains. Probably this is connected not only with taphonomical factors but also with a very high quantity of animals in this region. However, we could not provide a continuous set of dates from our collection from this lowland, which include 6 species of mammals. Some dates show the age of Sartan glaciation.


Sergey A. VASIL’EV

Paleolithic Department, Institute for the Material Culture History, 18 Dvortsovaia emb. 191186 St.Petersburg, Russia


The paper presents an overview of the human exploitation of mammoth bone and ivory in the Pleistocene of Siberia. The earliest evidence of this activity is reported from assemblage A of Kamenka I at Western Trans-Baikal, which yielded fragments of an ivory bracelet or diadem, while some pieces of worked mammoth bones are reported from other Early Upper Paleolithic sites of the area (Tolbaga and Varvarina Gora). As for more controversial discoveries, the ivory pieces from old collections from Voennyi Hospital and Kaiskaya Gora located at the upper courses of the Angara River are to be mentioned.

The Middle Upper Paleolithic evidenced intensive mammoth exploitation as represented by numerous discoveries from Western Siberia (Shestakovo, Achinskaya) to Yenisei (Kurtak IV, Kashtanka I) and Angara (Ust'Kova, Malta, Buret). In Late Upper Paleolithic assemblages the artifacts made of mammoth ivory and bones are represented mostly from the sites located in the middle courses of the Yenisei River (Afontova Gora, Listvenka, Kokorevo II). Beyond this area there are some occasional discoveries at the upper reaches of Yenisei (Golubaya I), Altai (Denisova Cave, Kaminnaya Cave), Angara (the upper component of Ust'Kova), and Northeastern Asia (Diuktai Cave, Ust'Timpton, Berelekh, etc.).

Tools and Weaponry

Mammoth ivory and bones were extensively used by the Paleolithic inhabitants of Siberia for tool manufacture (Gerasimov 1935, Anikovich 1976, Abramova 1979, Astakhov 1986, 1999, Drozdov et al. 1990, Derevyanko et al. 1992, Kungurov 1996, Mochanov and Fedoseeva 1996a, b, Derevyanko 1997, Drozdov and Artem'ev 1997, Sitlivy et al. 1997, Akimova 1998, Lisitsyn 2000). Among these artifacts are huge ivory implements such as mattock-like tools (Afontova Gora III, Layer 2 at Loc. 3), large pieces with three holes (Listvenka, Layer 12v), spades (Afontova Gora II, Layer C3), adzes (Kurtak IV), mortars (Afontova Gora III, loc. 3), and anvils (Ust’Kova, the middle component). Ivory was also used for projectiles as evidenced by the discoveries of points (Achinskaya, Malta, Afontova Gora II, Layer C3, Listvenka, Layers 7a, 9 to 13, 18, and 19, Golubaya I, Layer 3, Diuktai Cave, Layer 8, Berelekh). Similar points were also made of mammoth bones (Afontova Gora II, Layer C3). Less evident is the functions of other types of ivory tools as pieces with triangular-shaped tips (Kokorevo II), pieces with sharpened tips (Afontova Gora III, Loc. 2), slotted pieces (Listvenka, Layer 19), and bowl-like pieces (Listvenka, Layer 2).

Among smaller tools ivory and bone knives (Afontova Gora II, Layer C3, Ust’Kova, the upper component, Berelekh), smoothers made of bones (Berelekh) and ivory (Malta, Ust'Kova, the middle component), ivory retouchers (Malta), ivory rods (Ushlep VI, Layer 3), ivory awls (Malta, Afontova Gora II, Layer C3, Ust'Timpton, Layer 10), and ivory spatulas (Afontova Gora III, upper component, Listvenka, Layer 19) are to be mentioned. The Siberian sites produced ivory needles, some with eyes (Malta, Afontova Gora II, Layer C3), some with circular hollows (Malta).

From numerous assemblages (Volchya Griva, Ushlep VI, Shestakovo, Afontova Gora I to III, Korovii Log II, Bol’shaya Slizneva, Biriusa I, Listvenka, Kurtak IV, Malta, Kaiskaya Gora, Voennyi Hospital, Varvarina Gora, Tolbaga, Diuktai Cave, Ikhine II, Berelekh, etc; Gerasimov 1926, Auerbach and Gromov 1935, Okladnikov et al. 1971, Okladnikov and Kirillov 1980, Vasil'ev et al. 1987, Abramova et al. 1991, Derevyanko et al. 1992, Kungurov 1996, Mochanov and Fedoseeva 1996a, b, Astakhov 1999, Lisitsyn 2000, Generalov et al. 2001, Zenin 2002) pieces of ivory and mammoth bones bearing traces of human treatment (splitting, retouch, incisions, sawing, polishing) have been identified. Some tools were made of ivory flakes struck off the special cores as evidenced by discoveries from Shestakovo, Ust'Kova (the middle component), Malta, and Afontova Gora II (Layer C3).

Personal Ornaments

A roster of ivory personal ornaments and ornamented items is large too (Derevyanko et al. 1990, 1992, 1998, Drozdov et al. 1990, Abramova 1995, Astakhov 1999, Lisitsyn 2000, Lbova 2000, Zenin 2002). It includes plaques and pieces with holes (Denisova Cave, Layer 9, Kaminnaya Cave, Layer A, Kashtanka I, Layer 1), diadems or bracelets (Kamenka I, Layer A, Afontova Gora II, Layer C3, Kokorevo II, Ust'Kova, the middle component), pendants (Ust’Kova, the upper and middle components, Achinskaya, Kurtak IV, Listvenka, Layers 4 and 6), beads (Denisova Cave, Layers 9 and 11, Afontova Gora II, Layer C3, Kashtanka I, Layer 1, Ust’Kova, the upper and middle components), rings (Denisova Cave, Layer 11, Kaminnaya Cave, Layer A, Voennyi Hospital), discs (Kurtak IV), balls (Afontova Gora II, Layer C3, Afontova Gora III, Loc. 1 and 3, Voennyi Hospital), and different ornamented fragments (Shestakovo, Layer 7, Afontova Gora III, Loc. 3, Voennyi Hospital). A series of enigmatic cylinder-shaped ivory pieces from Voennyi Hospital should be added to the roster.

Malta produced the richest record on ivory personal ornaments, which made the site so famous (Gerasimov 1935, Abramova 1995, Derevyanko 1997, Sitlivy et al. 1997). Round and oval-shaped (and, rarely, rectangular and curved) beads and pendants are widely seen. Also, curved and perforated ornamented ivory blades, and bracelets (or diadems) were known. A number of oval-shaped plaques, covered by half-moon shaped hollows and zigzag lines, deserve a special attention. Smaller ones appear to have served as buttons. Those with enlarged heads with ornamentation by wavy lines, round hollows and rows of pits are considered 'fastenings'. A series of ivory decorated rods is worthwhile to mention. Ornaments are usually decorated by diverse motives, which sometimes demonstrate a complicated design. Linear, wavy, zigzag and spiral lines are applied along with bracketing, pitting and thin engraving to decorate figurines, plaques and pendants.

Art Objects

No other Siberian site is comparable to Malta in richness and diversity of art objects made of ivory. Abramova (1995) describes 28 feminine statuettes, including fragments and ‘preforms’. Size of these statuettes varies between 3 to 13 cm. They were classified into some types, such as those representing fat women, women of medium proportion and elongated figurines representing thin females. The latter type grades into almost rod-like schematic pieces. There are also small figurines whose surfaces are totally covered by incisions and pits as well as statuettes of distinctive style, with exaggerated middle portion of body. Heads of statuettes are ornamented by carved lines, which are usually interpreted as headdress. There are also a series of bird figurines, 14 in total, with elongated necks and short wings. A mammoth engraving on ivory blade, an ivory figurine of an animal (probably depicting wolverine), two elongated bird figurines interpreted as swimming birds, and a statuette of swan are worthwhile to mention. Malta yielded a beautiful specimen of a large ivory plaque with complicated design interpreted as a depiction of snakes.

Buret’, Malta’s twin site, produced 4 ivory female figurines, ranging 4 to 12 cm in height. The most remarkable object is one elongated statuette, covered by rows of incisions of half-moon shape. Facial details and hood are clearly visible. In addition the same ivory bird figurine as those of Malta was found.

Apart from Malta and Buret’, some other Middle Upper Paleolithic sites produced evidence of artistic activity. There are fragments (heads?) of ivory statuettes from Layer 6 of Shestakovo (Zenin 2002) and Layer 19 of Listvenka (Akimova 1998). Achinskaya (Larichev and Arustamyan 1976) yielded an ivory phallus-like statuette or the so-called ‘rod’. Measuring about 11 cm, this ivory object has a rounded base, narrow body and enlarged head. Its surface shows traces of two spiral lines made of points. Its lower portion demonstrates a round, sculptured ‘belt’.

The middle component of Ust’Kova located at the Lower Angara valley yielded a schematized figurine of mammoth made of ivory. Measuring 8.4 by 4.8 by 2.3cm, it has traces of ochre and black pigment. Large head, body and short legs can be identified. In addition, there is a discovery of an ivory blade of asymmetrical rectangular shape, measuring 5.2 by 5.3 by 1.9 cm and interpreted as a bird figurine (Drozdov et al. 1990).

For the Late Upper Paleolithic there is practically no evidence of ivory utilization for producing art objects. One problematic item is an engraved ivory fragment accidentally found on the Berelekh River 50-km upstream from the site. This specimen shows thin lines depicting the profile of a mammoth. Some (Mochanov and Fedoseeva 1996b) believe in its Pleistocene age, while for others (e.g. Abramova 1995) it cannot be associated with the Paleolithic site of Berelekh lying in the downstream area. Vereshchagin (1977) argues that the engraving was made on a tusk broken beforehand by ice, i.e. the fossil piece was extracted from elsewhere.


The Pleistocene of Siberia witnessed a long history of man-mammoth interactions from the Middle Pleistocene onwards (Vasil'ev 2002). At the Early Upper Paleolithic, from ca. 45,000 BP, the man-mammoth interactions seemed to be restricted by occasional collecting of mammoth bones and tusks. From ca. 30,000 BP the practice of use of ivory for tool and ornaments manufacture began.

The Middle Upper Paleolithic (from ca. 27,000 BP onwards) evidenced the culmination of man-mammoth interactions, when apart from the intensive hunting and exploitation of mammoth carcasses, ivory was widely used for the manufacture of tools, personal ornaments, and art objects. During this time span the Paleolithic inhabitants of Siberia were very similar to their European counterparts while the practice of the use of mammoth bones for domestic structures, well documented for the Eastern and Central Europe, is lacking in Siberia.

During the Late Upper Paleolithic, after the Last Glacial Maximum (from ca. 18,000-17,000 BP) only three areas in Siberia witnessed mammoth procurement. These are the southern part of the West Siberian Plain, the middle courses of the Yenisei River near the city of Krasnoyarsk, and the Northeastern corner of Asia (the Aldan and Indigirka River valleys). In other areas only scattered mammoth bones and tusks were occasionally collected for tool and ornament manufacture. This history seems to have ended somewhere between 13,000 and 12,000 BP, when mammoths ceased to exist firstly in the Yenisei valley and West Siberia, then in Northeast Asia.


This research has been partly supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant #02-06-80456).


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Vasil'ev, S.A., 2002 - Man and Mammoth in Pleistocene Siberia - in: Cavaretta, G., Giola, P., Mussi, M., and Palombo, M.R. (eds.) - The World of Elephants. Proceedings of the 1st International Congress - CNR, Rome: 363-366

Vasil'ev, S.G., Kuznetsov, O.V., and Meshcherin, M.N. 1987 - Poselenie Tolbaga – in: Rezanov, I.N. (ed.) - Prirodnaya sreda i drevnii chelovek v pozdnem antropogene, Buryatskii Filial SO AN SSSR, Ulan-Ude:109-121

Vereshchagin, N.K., 1977 - Berelekhskoe ‘kladbishche’ mamontov - Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta AN SSSR, 72: 5-50

Zenin, V.N., 2002 - Osnovnye etapy osvoeniya Zapadno-Sibirskoi Ravniny paleoliticheskim chelovekom - Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 4: 22-44



Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, St.Petersburg, Russia

Following the traditions of Russian scientists of the 18th and 19th centuries the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) went on expeditions in search of mammoth cemeteries in the Asian Arctic in the 20th century as well. In 1948 a complete mammoth skeleton was excavated in Tajmir and in the same year the Mammoth Committee was established at the Presidium of RAS with academician E.N. Pavlovskij as chairman.

In 1970 the Zoological Institute took part in the complex expedition to the river Bereljoh in the river Indigirka basin to study the tremendous mammoth cemetery, and then continued similar research in the 1980s and 1990s in the basins of rivers Khatanga, Indigirka, Shandrin, Kolima and on the shore of East Siberian Sea.

Our album includes photos from six mammoth sites from the Asian Arctic, their modern landscapes and information on their topography, geomorphology, stratigraphy, paleoecology and taphonomy and also some moments of the camp expedition life.


Bart A. WEIS

Department of Earth Sciences, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205, USA

In mid-July 2002, Terrabrook Development Company called the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to their construction site in Parker, Colorado. They believed that some heavy machinery had uncovered a mammoth tusk. Bart Weis confirmed that a 17-foot tusk had been uncovered. The tusk was in two pieces. The Terrabrook Development Company said, "We want to do the right thing and take what ever time is needed to excavate the tusk". The Terrabrook Company donated machinery, security, and labor to help in the excavation and transport back to the museum.

After the tusk was excavated, the museum crew surveyed the surrounding area for more mammoth remains. Paleontologically trained museum volunteers worked 10, 10-hour days in 90-degree heat to map and excavate a total of 28 bones, including a complete mammoth palate with both M3s intact. Up to five hundred people a day came to the site to watch the museum excavate the mammoth. Local, national and international news crews descended on the site, and the story made it in newspapers form Alaska to Vermont and Mexico to Germany. Preparations of the mammoth bones have been in view of the public with an accompanying video of the excavation at the Stonegate Mammoth locality. To date only a few of the jackets have been opened and prepared and the mammoth appears to be transitional between Mammuthus imperator and M. columbi.

All the bones were lying on a fine sand and gravel bed of the Louviers alluvium. The Louviers alluvium dates from 50,000 to 200,000 BP. The preliminary conclusion is that the mammoth skull with the tusk still attached tumbled into an old stream channel of Cherry Creek. On the skull’s last tumble the tusk came dislodged and broke in two. Lack of enamel on the teeth suggests extensive transport.



Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals, Polish Academy of Sciences, Slawkowska 17, 31-016 Kraków, Poland

The Kraków Spadzista Street (B) site is one of six Aurignacian and Gravettian sites located on the rocky prominence connected with St. Bronislawa hill in Kraków. It is one of the more well-known Gravettian sites in Europe and the largest mammoth bone accumulation in Poland. During 17 seasons of excavations that uncovered 150 m2 of the site, approximately 7000 woolly mammoth bones and teeth were collected. The radiocarbon dates of this site clustered around 23 – 24 ky BP. As of year 2002, the remains of 86 mammoths had been found. The Kraków Spadzista (B) site represents a mammoth butchering locality and probably a mammoth hunting site as well. However, it is not yet possible to distinguish the mammoths killed by Gravettian hunters from those that died naturally and then were scavenged by people. It is possible that Paleolithic hunters focused on the mammoths as their prey because the animals were weak due to environmental stress. Suggestion of weakened physical condition of the mammoth population is evident in the large proportion of tooth pathologies. Nearly 50% of all mammoth teeth from Kraków Spadzista Street (B) show furrows in the crown cementum. In other parts of the mammoth skeleton, we recorded only isolated bones with pathologies.

Recent investigations by archaeologists from Jagiellonian University provide insight into the spatial organization of the Gravettian complex at the site. In addition to the mammoth bone utilization zone, two other distinct zones were recognized, including activity areas for stone tool curation and polar fox procurement and another area for all stages of stone tool production and curation, interpreted as a base camp.

Study of the Kraków Spadzista Street (B) mammoths was partly supported by Grant No. 6 P04C 064 18 of the State Committee for Scientific Research, Poland.


Grant D. ZAZULA1, Alice M. TELKA2, C. Richard HARINGTON3, Duane G. FROESE4, and Rolf W. MATHEWES1

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 1S6
2 PALEOTEC services, 1-574 Somerset Street W., Ottawa, Ont., K1R 5K2
3 Canadian Museum of Nature (Paleobiology), P.O. Box, 3443, Stn. "D", Ottawa, Ont., K1P 6P4
4 Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 1S6

Placer mining in the Klondike goldfields of west-central Yukon Territory has yielded thousands of late Pleistocene faunal remains. Fossils are often recovered from the base of "muck" deposits, the unconsolidated, fine-grained, ice-rich silt found in valley bottom sites overlying gold bearing gravel. The Yukon "mucks" may be analogous to Siberian Yedoma silt dating to the Duvanny Yar interval. Temporal and spatial association between megafauna and paleoecological data makes these sites ideal for addressing questions of late Pleistocene plant productivity, faunal diversity and climates in eastern Beringia.

Two discoveries at Last Chance Creek placer exposures are the focus of multi-proxy paleoecological investigation. In 1993, the mummified partial carcass of a small Pleistocene horse (Equus lambei) complete with stomach contents was recovered at the base of the "muck". An AMS radiocarbon age places the horse at 26,280 ±210 yr BP (Beta-67407, Harington and Eggleston-Stott, 1996). In 2002, an exceptionally well-preserved, complete tusk of a mature woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was recovered from gravel and peat near the base of the "muck". Sedge (Carex) seeds from the peat yielded an AMS radiocarbon age of 25,700 ±400 yr BP (Zazula et al., 2003). Pollen, plant and arthropod macrofossil analyses on the horse stomach, surrounding sediment and peat associated with the mammoth tusk were conducted. Our work indicates megafauna at Last Chance Creek inhabited a local mosaic of xeric steppe or grassland, with diverse herbs (Papaver, Draba, Potentilla, various Caryophyllaceae) and Artemisia, that included isolated stands of birch and alder shrubs and trees. Sedge-willow meadows were present in the valley bottoms, with small groves of spruce. Data from west-central Yukon indicate that spruce survived in valley bottoms until the onset of late Wisconsinan glaciation. Shortly thereafter, climatic conditions became conducive to the deposition of loess in valley bottoms, forming the "mucks" and undoubtedly influencing the composition of local vegetation.


Harington, C.R. and Eggleston-Stott, M., 1996 - Partial carcass of a small Pleistocene horse from Last Chance Creek near Dawson City, Yukon - Current Research in the Pleistocene 13:105-107

Zazula, G.D., Froese, D.G., Telka, A.M., Mathewes, R.W., and Westgate, J.A., 2003 - Plants, bugs, and a giant mammoth tusk: Paleoecology of Last Chance Creek, Yukon Territory - in: Emond, D.S. and Lewis, L.L. (eds.), Yukon Exploration and Geology 2002 - Exploration and Geological Services Division, Yukon Region, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, pp. 251-258


Vasiliy N. ZENIN1, Evgeny N. MASCHENKO2, Sergey V. LESHCHINSKIY3, Aleksandr F. PAVLOV4, Pieter M. GROOTES5, and Marie-Josée NADEAU5

1 Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Lavrentiev Ave. 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
2 Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya Str. 12, Moscow, 117647, Russia
3 Department of Paleontology & Historical Geology, Tomsk State University, Lenin Ave. 36, Tomsk, 634050 Russia
4 Human and Nature Museum, Mira Str. 11, Hanty-Mansiisk, 628011 Russia
5 Leibniz Laboratory, Christian Albrecht University, Max-Eyth-Str. 11, Kiel, 24118 Germany

Lugovskoye is the rich and extensive site preserving Late Pleistocene mammalian fossil remains and the northernmost Paleolithic site in Western Siberia (the vast northwestern region of Asia). The genesis of this occurrence of mammal remains can be explained by a unique combination of a natural trap and a "beast solonetz". Sites of this sort attracted Paleolithic people, providing them with an opportunity for scavenging of animal remains or/and for hunting weak animals or those stuck in shifting ground (Derevianko et al., 2000; Leshchinskiy, 2001). At the Lugovskoye locality this is evidenced by stone tools found at the site as well as by a mammoth vertebra (Mammuthus primigenius Blum.), hit by a spear or javelin with a composite (lithic inserts) point

Figure 1. A vertebra of Mammuthus primigenius Blum. pierced with a spear or javelin.

Traces of human activity and fossil remains were localized within the deposits of a spring which cuts the first fluvial terrace (above flood-plain) and flows into the Ob's tributary* . The main evidences of human activity were recovered from a nearby spring channel 190 - 205 meters upstream from the spring mouth. All of the Paleolithic artifacts (271 specimens) and numerous mammoth bone and tooth fragments were obtained through screening of sediments from the stream's bottom (top of layer 2) in an area of approximately 10 sq. m. The site's lithic industry is defined as blade-based. Tools form 14.8% of the artifact assemblage comprising retouched bladelets, grattoirs, borers, and chisel-like tools. A sample of mammoth teeth (found within the same layer as lithic artifacts) has yielded an absolute date of 10,820 ± 170 yr BP (SOAN-4943, conventional C14).

A mammoth vertebra pierced with a projectile weapon of Paleolithic humans was recovered from the same layer as the main collection of artifacts but approximately 60 meters downstream. The find was located among fossil remnants of a lower bone-bearing horizon at 0,3 - 0,4 meters below the top of ground deposits. A vertebra was buried partially (upper part) in the base of a peat lens (total thickness is up to 0,2 meters) and mainly in underlying thin-laminated sandy-clayey deposits (total thickness is more than 1 meter). The majority of available radiocarbon dates (obtained from bones) indicates a Late Sartan age (16,5 - 10 kyr) of layer 2. However, sedimentation of the layer's top, probably, took place in the early Holocene. This possibility is based on a date (9,685 ± 95 yr BP, SOAN-4941) received from a peat lens overlapping a vertebra.

A small vertebral fragment was tested with radiocarbon analysis (the AMS-system), which produced the date of 13,465 ± 50 yr BP (KIA 19643). The "calibrated" (calendar) age was calculated with the use of "CALIB rev 4.3" as cal 14,225 yr BC. Consequently, the encounter between mammoth and man may have occurred about 16,200 years ago, i.e., in the beginning of the second half of the Sartan cryochron. Moreover, isolated dates of 18 and 30 kyr BP from the same layer evidence a process of post-depositional wash-out erosion of site deposits and re-deposition of some remains (including bone and teeth fragments from overlying layer 1 of stream bottom deposits).

A thoracic vertebra (7 - 9?) of an adult (over 22 years) mammoth female with a cone-shaped aperture and inserts of light-green quartzite stuck in the bone (Figures 1, 2) is a unique find of the Lugovskoye collection. The lesion is situated on the right side of the vertebra's body at the level of its median. Measurements of the aperture: depth - 24 mm; minimum diameter - 7 mm; maximum diameter - 9 mm. The longitudinal margin of the stuck lithic insert (previously fixed in the composite projectile point) displays blunting and steep retouch. The insert is 7 mm wide and 1,9-2,4 mm thick. Morphologically and dimensionally, the Lugovskoye insert is similar to inserts of a bone point from the Talitskogo site (radiocarbon age, 18.7 kyr) in the Urals and to an insert from the Volchiaya Griva site (radiocarbon age, 17 – 11 kyr) located at a natural fossil mammal locality ("beast solonetz") in Western Siberia.

Figure 2. A penetrating aperture in the mammoth vertebra with adhering quartzite inserts.

Judging by the developed technique of composite tools and by morphological characteristics of the artifacts, the Lugovskoye lithic industry may be placed within the second half of the Sartan cryochron (ca 16,5 - 10 kyr BP), which is in good concordance with available radiocarbon dates. However, this does not exclude the possibility of finding earlier industries at the Lugovskoye site.

A mammoth bone with a lesion made with an Upper Paleolithic projectile weapon (a spear or a javelin) is the second find of this sort in the vast territory of Eurasia and the first one in Asia. It evidences the fact the humans directly hunted a mammoth presumably stuck in a natural trap. The depth of the lesion on the bone is suggestive of a spear-throwing device used for big game hunting.

This research was carried out within the framework of the project "Initial Human Colonization and Settling of Eurasia: Formation and Evolution of Paleolithic Cultures, Correlation of Mechanisms of Cultural Adaptation with Climate Fluctuations" (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences) and with the financial support provided by the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research (projects 02-04-48458; 03-05-65252).


Leshchinskiy, S.V., 2001 - Late Pleistocene beast solonetz of Western Siberia: "mineral oases" in mammoth migration paths, foci of the Palaeolithic man's activity – in: Cavarretta, G., Gioia, P., Mussi, M., and Palombo, M.R. (eds.) - The World of Elephants - Proceeding of the 1st International Congress – pp. 293-298 – Rome

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