Fragments of a prehistoric elephant fossil, possibly a mammoth, were found in Clichy-la-Garenne, in Hauts-de-Seine, during excavations prescribed by the regional directorate of cultural affairs between August 24 and October 2.
As revealed Point, these excavations were carried out by a team of prehistorians, geomorphologists and paleo-environmentalists from the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap). They took place before on this site, an old sand pit, before the construction of a residential building.
Excavations have revealed the existence of a habitat prehistoric dating back to the Middle Paleolithic, ie between – 350,000 years and – 45,000 years. According to scientists, it would be of a site Neanderthal. Cut tools were found on site, as well as bits of elephant tusk out of the ground. Research carried out in a trench four meters deep have also attested to an episode of prehistoric glaciation. On the other hand, large herbivores, horses and bison, have already been identified.
Researchers have yet to determine the dating of the elephantid fossil found. In Point, archaeozoologist Grégory Bayle explains that “these fossils have suffered a lot. The tusk shattered into several pieces, probably under the effect of freezing (…). The absence of collagen on the ivory complicates the carbon analyzes 14 “and makes dating difficult.
After a first failure, a second laboratory should try to date the pieces of defense found and “depending on the results obtained, [les scientfiques] if it is indeed a mammoth, like [ils] the [pressentent] in view of the objects found around ”, confides again Grégory Bayle, to the Point.