8M-year-old animal fossils unearthed in central Turkey

DHA Photo

Anthropologists have unearthed 8 million-year-old fossils during excavations in central Turkey's Kayseri province.

The fossils discovered belong to a variety of animals including a tricorn horse, giraffe, rhinoceros and a species of bovidae and were discovered in the Barsama area, 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) southeast of an initial excavation site near the Yamula Dam.

Anthropologist Özge Kahya from Ankara University's paleoanthropology department said that the excavations show that the area used to be forested.

Kahya said that fossils were previously discovered near the Yamula Dam and the ones recently discovered belong the same era. However the discoveries were completely different in terms of fauna. Kahya said that the fossils found in the area belong to smaller animals than those found near the Yamula Dam.

The excavation works in the area, which is rich in fossils, were initially started 15 days ago and will continue.

Excavations near the Yamula Dam were launched two years ago after a shepherd discovered another animal fossil in the area. Most of the fossils discovered in the area include skulls and jawbones belonging to elephants.

The Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality plans to open the area to visitors after completing the first phase of excavations.

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