Israeli archaeologists dig up large tusk of extinct elephant


KIBBUTZ REVADIM, Israel (AP) — Israeli archaeologists recently unearthed the titanic tusk of an extinct pachyderm near a kibbutz in southern Israel.

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday that the 2.5-yard long fossil belonging to the long-extinct straight-tusked elephant was found during a joint excavation with researchers from Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.

Omry Barzilai, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the find was “very puzzling, very enigmatic” because it was not clear whether ancient people hunted the behemoth on the spot or whether they brought the felled animal's tusk to this spot.

The tusk was found near a kibbutz on the central plain running parallel to Israel's Mediterranean coast. But when the ancient elephant died, the now-arid terrain was likely a swamp or shallow lake.