A farmer in central Yozgat province has found a fossilized jaw bone, which is thought to belong to an 8-million-year-old mammoth.
Speaking to reporters, Hasan Şenyurt, director of Yozgat Museum, said they took the fossil under examination, which was given to them by the farmer.
Stating that for the first time a mammoth or elephant fossil was found, he added: “It is known that Yozgat is rich in fossil beds. However, a study on fossils just started in the last three years.”
Yozgat is a city and the capital district of Yozgat province in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. The city lies on the site of a Bronze Age settlement 100 miles (160 km) east of Ankara in a valley of the Ak Mountains, at an elevation of 4,360 feet (1,329 metres). There are also many ancient Hittite archaeological sites within the region.
He said Ahi Evran University’s Assistant Professor Cem Erkman carrying out studies on invertebrate fossils in the city, which he calls “a new development” for Yozgat.
“Until now, no skeleton of an ancient elephant or mammoth has been found in Yozgat,” Şenyurt said, adding that the jaw bone found by the farmer was completely lithified now.
“We will have the opportunity to have this piece of tooth examined by professors of Ankara University and Ahi Evran University,” he added.
Şenyurt also expressed hope for the continuation of studies on ancient animals and said these findings had potential to attract more museum visitors.
“We will improve studies on the tooth found in Şefaatli district,” he said.
Alper Dusunceli, the farmer who found the fossil while cultivating his farm, said he handed it over to the museum director, as he thought it looked like a tooth.
In 2016, a 2.5-million-year-old mammoth tooth was also found in Ereğli district of central Konya province.
Turkish scientists hope that, with the discovery, more research would be conducted in the region.