In search of mammoths

Where to go for the weekend? One of the most exotic answers to this question: “Go to seek for mammoths”.

To put it more precisely – not mammoths, but their bones. Also you can seek for the bones of other ancient animals such as bison and ancient horses, that were living on the territory of present-day Chelyabinsk region 15-20 thousand years ago.

Speleologist and paleontologist Vladimir Ivanovich Yurin names such a trip “going to seek for bones”. One of the most affordable places to seek is the floodplain of the Gumbeika river near the village of Ostrolenskii in Nagajbakskii region (road from Chelyabinsk to Magnitogorsk, on the right hand side of the road).

The first photo is the photo of Vladimir Ivanovich in hiking outfit. It is better to seek  for bones by “legs”, passing the bottom of shallow Gumbeika rivulet and neighboring puddles.

However, there are also bones in the sand. I found three bones of mammoth, bison and ancient horse. In my left hand I’ve got pieces of jasper, the small pieces of it lie under the feet just like pebbles.

The most difficult thing when collecting bones is to tune the eyes on seeking for right things, because ancient bones look like stones or pieces of wood.

The largest “catch” of search, lasted one and a half hours, is a mammoth vertebra.

The collection of bones is a fascinating occupation, much more interesting than the gathering mushrooms! Mushrooms can be bought by a roadside, but try to buy a bucket of mammoth bones!

Don’t carry the bones home, they are not souvenirs, but a fact of history! Vladimir Ivanovich has a dossier on each bone: where, when, by whom it is found. Then he sends these bones to  Yekaterinburg, where they will be identified precisely and according to the age and the type of animal. Then these bones will be sent to museums – children should know, how animals lived in ancient times in our Urals.

Translated by Elena Jansen-Kaledinova
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