MOSCOW, June 4 (RIA Novosti) - A mammoth skeleton, believed to be as much as a million years old, has been discovered near the eastern Serbian city of Kostolac, the B92 TV channel said on its website on Thursday.
The unique find was excavated from a surface coal mine close to the Viminacium Archeological Park, an ancient Roman historical site. The bones were buried in a layer of gravel, 27 meters beneath the surface.
"What I can say is that it was over four meters tall, and some five, six meters long, weighing over 10 tons," the website quoted the park chief, Miomir Korac, as saying.
The skeleton was surprisingly well-preserved, with only its skill and tusks damaged.
"What is very interesting is that the poor creature met his death and remained in a layer of some sort of gravel, which means that it is practically preserved," he went on. "We found it as it was when it died."
The skeleton possibly belongs to a species of mammoth that migrated to southern Europe from Africa about 1.5 million years ago.
"Discoveries of this species of mammoth are very rare. That fact alone speaks about its value," Korac said.
The skeleton will be restored and put on display at the archeological park.
In 1996, fossilized remains of a mammoth were found in northern Serbia's Kikinda. The fossils, estimated to be about half a million years old, have quickly become a popular tourist attraction.