THE TUSK of a prehistoric animal, which is believed to have roamed around Worcestershire countryside around 50,000 years ago, has been discovered on the outskirts of Malvern – it has been revealed.
Stunned staff from Worcestershire County Council’s archive and archaeology service were called out to investigate the finding of a mammoth tusk at Tarmac’s Clifton Quarry, close to the village of Severn Stoke earlier this year.
Investigations since then have revealed that the size of the tusk suggests it was from a young male mammoth, which could have been 11ft tall at the shoulder and may have weighed up to six tonnes.
And Malvern residents will be able to see the tusk for themselves when it goes on display this weekend.
The giant discovery was spotted by one of the plant drivers at the Tarmac site, who, after realising the importance of what he had uncovered, reported it to the quarry management which in turn contacted field supervisor, Graham Arnold and animal bone specialist, James Spry.
Despite the great age of the tusk and it being well-embedded into the underlying gravel and sand, it was remarkably well-preserved.
And following detailed investigations since its discovery, the tusk has been identified as the remains of a Woolly Mammoth, which is understood to have lived in the Palaeolithic period.
The tusk has now been slowly dried out and conserved by a specialist conservator and will be on display at Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery this Saturday (August 20).
Robin Jackson, senior archaeological project manager at Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service, said: “Thanks to the very prompt and responsible actions of Tarmac’s quarry staff, we’ve been able to recover this very interesting find from Worcestershire’s distant past.
“Discoveries of giant animal bones in the county are rare and therefore this find is an important one and will hopefully inspire people to learn more about Palaeolithic Worcestershire.”
Nick Atkins, estates manager at Tarmac said: “We’re excited such a significant discovery has been made at our site and we’re very keen to see what else we can find out about it.
“It’s fantastic to discover something like this, which is so well preserved and will help us and the specialists find out more about the creature and its history.”
Deborah Fox, curator of archaeology and natural history at Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery, said: “We’re delighted to be able to display this wonderful specimen.
“It’s been many decades since something like this came into the museum, so we’re very pleased to have it here.”
The tusk will be available to view at the museum from 10.30am to 4.30pm between Mondays and Saturdays for a limited time only.