published Friday, April 11th, 2014

Serbia experts use heavy machinery to move mammoth

A crane lifts the skeleton of a female southern mammoth named Vika at an open pit coal mine in Kostolac, 50 miles east of Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, April 11, 2014.
A crane lifts the skeleton of a female southern mammoth named Vika at an open pit coal mine in Kostolac, 50 miles east of Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, April 11, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KOSTOLAC, Serbia — Serbian archaeologists on Friday used heavy machinery to move a female mammoth skeleton — believed to be one million years old — from an open mine pit where it was unearthed nearly five years ago.

Workers with cranes and bulldozers worked carefully for hours at the Kostolac coal mine in eastern Serbia to transfer the mammoth, known as Vika, to an exhibition area several kilometers away.

Chief archaeologist Miomir Korac told The Associated Press that preparations had lasted several months. He said that archaeologists secured Vika in a 60-ton structure of rubber and sand to avoid any damage.

"We are extremely sad and heavy-hearted about this, but we had to move her," Korac said. "It was just too complicated to leave the mammoth where it was found; that would have required securing a 5,000-square-foot area right in the heart of the coal mine."

Serbian archaeologists say Vika is a southern mammoth, or mammuthus meridionalis, one of the oldest species found in Europe, which originated from northern Africa and did not have fur.

She was discovered during routine excavation at the coal mine at 90 feet below ground. Vika is more than 13 feet high, 16 feet long and weighed more than 10 tons.

Two years ago, an entire mammoth field of more recent date was also discovered in Kostolac, while another female mammoth skeleton, about 500,000 years old, was discovered in northern Serbia in 1996.

That skeleton was named Kika, and is on display in the northern town of Kikinda, near the border with Hungary.

about Associated Press...

The Associated Press

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.