Elephant fossils found in Pampore
Sep 6: The Department of Geology and Geophysics, Kashmir
University, on August 31, during preliminary investigations came across an
elephant fossil, believed to be at least 50,000 years old at Galandhar, Pampore.
The fossil, a skull measures 5 feet x 4 feet with complete upper and lower jaws
and a broken tusk 2 feet x 9 inches long measuring about 25 inches in girth at
the proximal end and a vertebra.
experts say it brings the Valley closer to the vertebrate fossil rich Shivalik
hills in terms of ancient wildlife and climiate. This is not the first time that
fossils of an elephant have been found in Kashmir.
In 1931, the skeleton of a mammoth resembling elephant in a semi fossil form was
excavated at Somber in Pampore and is preserved in Sri Pratap Museum. It
includes full skull and bones that belong to an earlier period than the recently
discovered fossil. Besides this at Wapzan, Bijbehara fossils comprising jaws of
an elephant, believed to be at least one million year old were excavated.
fossils point to the type of animal and vegetation before Kashmir was converted
into Satisar lake, fifty thousand years ago. According to Mr Gulam Mohiuddin,
Director Archeology, Archives and museums, karewas formation in Kashmir valley
took place during glacial and interglacial eras in Valley. River jehlum was
previously flowing through Banihal into chenab. Due to tectonic activities there
was a blockadge in the mountains leading to a massive lake covering entire
Valley. According to Mr Mohiuddin, the Valley remained under water for certain
periods of history. Again tectonic activities followed leading to crack in the
mountains at Khadanyar in Baramulla. The water receded in Valley and found a way
out. The life existed even before this conversion, he added.