New 7.5 million-year-old fossils found and unearthed


gave | Saturday, June 19, 2021 – 14:41 | Last Updated : 19 06 2021 – 14:41

Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University Faculty Member and Head of Excavation Delegation Prof. Dr. Okşan Başoğlu stated that the excavations started this year to find fossils dating back 7.5 million years and said, “There are plenty of fossils in our excavations. There are also fossils of elephants and hornbills. We generally say that the living things we find are 7.5-8 million years old,” he said.

In Kayseri, shepherd Murat Adıyaman found a bone fragment while grazing a goat on the banks of Yamula Dam in Taşhan District in 2017. As a result of the examination on the samples taken, excavation work was started in 2018 with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, and with the support of the Metropolitan Municipality. Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Within the scope of the study initiated under the leadership of Okşan Başoğlu, 7.5 million-year-old fossils belonging to elephant, three-toed horse, bovidae and rhinoceros were found for the first time.

The excavation work, which ended in October last year due to weather conditions, has resumed this year. Referring to the work done, the Head of the Excavation Prof. Dr. Okşan Başoğlu said, “We started the fossil excavation work. First, we conducted a survey after the Yamula Dam’s waters receded. We have been carrying out excavation works for 1 week. We are currently working in the old Hırka location. Many fossils are unearthed in our excavations. There are also fossils of elephants and hornbills. We’re going to be working on a very rich bed this year. If the weather conditions allow, we will continue the excavations until October.”

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‘THE SEMI-TROPICAL CLIMATE IS IN THE REGION WE ARE EXCAVING’

Head of the excavation Başoğlu stated that there are very important finds and said, “We have an example that is unique in the world. There are fossils of proboscised mammals. Our excavation works have been going on for 3 seasons and will continue for many years. This kind of excavation work takes many years. This excavation work is like digging a well with a needle. Fine work is being done. It is a very fertile region. We have been in Kayseri for quite some time. The area we are excavating is the late Miocene period, with a tropical and semi-tropical climate similar to present-day Africa. Therefore, it is an extremely favorable environment for these animals to live. Rhinos, giraffes, elephants and predators lived in that area. Currently these animals live in Africa. In general, we say that the living things we find are 7.5-8 million years old. Although it does not give an exact date, it can be called the late Miocene period.

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‘ARTICLES FOUND IN THE EXCAVATIONS WILL BE EXHIBITED IN THE MUSEUM’

Noting that the fossils found in the excavations were cleaned, Prof. Dr. Başoğlu said, “We are not just digging. If we do excavation work for 4-5 months, we feel lucky. Apart from that, we work in the laboratory at the science center. We strengthen the fossils we find. We clean it and make it ready for the exhibition. Instead of the old museum, the Fossil Museum will be built with the support of the Metropolitan Municipality. The artifacts found in these excavations will be exhibited in the museum. This fossil museum will be a first in Anatolia,” he said.

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