KAYSERİ: Anew paleontology museum featuring exhibits of 7.5 million-year-old elephant, giraffe, horse and rhinoceros fossils will open in Turkey’s central Kayseri province.
The discovery of the fossils was made near the excavations launched by the Yamula Dam in the Kocasinan district of the city two years ago. Excavations in the area were launched after a shepherd discovered another animal fossil in the area.
The remnants of many horned species from the late Miocene period unearthed in the excavations were then showcased in an exhibition entitled “Pre-historic Elephants of Kayseri.”
As part of the latest studies, a museum where the discovered fossils will be on display for the examination of history buffs is set to open soon.
Besides, according to the written statement made by Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, a group of foreign paleontologists visited the city to examine the historical remnants. Among the foreign scientists were anthropologist Tim White of the University of Berkeley; Californian Joshua Carlson, who holds a Ph.D. at the University of Berkeley and works in the field of paleontology; and Spanish Laura Sanches, who studies paleolithic archaeology.
Noting that the studies conducted on the fossils are of great importance internationally, White said: “Creating a museum here and displaying the artifacts is the best way for everyone, from locals to professors, to learn and explore the fossils found here.”
Stating that he is ready to offer all the contributions that he can to the museum, he continued: “A private fossil museum does not exist in Ankara, Izmir or Istanbul. The museum in Kayseri will be the first in Turkey in this sense. It is a great honor for me to be involved in this development.”
Reiterating that all the members of the team who carried out the excavation in Kayseri are very talented and valuable and the work they do is very important, White explained: “We have come to compare the fauna of prehistoric animals that lived in Africa with those that lived in Anatolia.”
Sanchez also said: “Here we find not only paleontology but also archaeological remains left over from humans. I will try to collect all of this data and create a holistic story of this place within the methodologies of geographical information systems.”
Stating that the excavations will continue in the area, professor Cesur Pehlavan of the Kayseri excavation team reported that Kayseri is an important fossil location, and the restoration and repair of fossils are still proceeding.
“The skulls and lower jaws of elephants, rhinos and giraffes that we call megafauna obtained here will be presented to scientists and locals via our new museum. People will witness the natural history of 7.5 million years ago,” he added.
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