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A first in Latin America: Tools of archaeology used to excavate Mexico mammoth
The site where the remains of a mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) were found in Santa Ana Tlacotenco, Milpa Alta, Mexico. According to a statement released by the INAH, about 70% of the mammoth skeleton was found, which dates back some ten or twelve thousand years. Photo: DMC.INAH. M MARAT.
MEXICO CITY (AFP).- A team of paleontologists in Mexico City say they have recovered the remains of an ancient mammoth, using methods typically employed by archaeologists -- a first in Latin America.

Researchers at the National Institute for Anthropology and History said on their website that they have recovered the skull, ribs, vertebrae, jaw and other parts of the long-extinct mammal, employing magnetic, electric and ground penetrating radar imagery.

Paleontologists said they hope to find the as yet undiscovered remains using the same techniques, which typically are employed for archaelogical digs.

Scientists so far have excavated about 70 percent of the mammoth's remains, which were discovered in the town of Milpa Alta just south of the Mexican capital.

"With the help of these techniques, commonly used in archaeological excavations to detect architectural (discoveries), time was saved in the investigating and determining the magnitude of the find prior to the start of the excavation," the institute wrote.

Bones belonging to the 30-year old male mammoth, which were discovered last year, had been protected by volcanic ash from an eruption that occurred between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago, according to scientists.

Mexico's National Institute for Anthropology and History, which started the excavation work last month, is a federal government bureau established to preserve and protect the nation's cultural and archaeological heritage.



© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse





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April 11, 2013

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