In 1984 a series of gravel pits were excavated which were subsequently flooded and became fishing lakes.
During their excavation a digger driver who was working around 5 - 6 metres below the surface and beneath the gravels, unearthed the skeletal remains of a mammoth that had died some 125,00 years ago.
The bones found included a shoulder blade, ribs, various limb bones and one spectacular tusk bearing its characteristic double curving twist. It appeared that the animal, which was about the size of a modern day Indian elephant, had probably become stuck in the mud and had died a lingering death. It's bones had then been scattered by predators and water currents.
are deposited at Norwich Castle Museum in the care of the
older deposits below the gravels were laid down during a warmer period
in the Ice Age around 125,000 years ago. Temperatures then were around
2 to 3 degrees warmer than present. The area was covered in oak and pine
forest, with hornbeam and yew. A river flowed through the area as it does
today and the fossil remains of a wide variety of animals were incorporated
into its sediments. Many of the species are only found on the Continent
today and some are extinct.
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