In 1997, a baby mammoth was discovered in Taimyr Siberia.* Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching "Waking the Baby Mammoth," a National Geographic Special featuring this 40,000 year old specimen. Pretty amazing. The mammoth had recently been sent to Japan for documentation, where many scientists reitterated the quality of preservation.
"This is the first time we have a really healthy, 'in the pink'
animal," Said Daniel Fisher of the University of Michigan. "We've had adults with wheelbarrows full of soft
tissue, but none as complete as [Lyuba]."**
The program was very intense, going into detail of information that could be ascertained simply by inspecting the digestive tract. It's nothing short of incredible to think this is a discovery made by a local hunter, found partially exposed in receded ice where it had originally frozen after drowning on the bank of a river in Siberia.
I know what you're thinking. Why on earth is a site focused on oriental rugs talking about a baby mammoth?!?
Here's the reason!
One of the most important discoveries in the Oriental Rug and Textile world is the pazyryk Carpet. Similar to the baby mammoth, the carpet was found in ice in Siberia (Pazyryk valley), about 50 years ealier in 1949. Radiocarbon testing estimates the carpet to be around 2500 years of age, making it the oldest known hand knotted [piled] rug to date. Although the carpet does feature animals such as deer and men on horses, there are no baby mammoths to be found. The carpet is currently in the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, Russia. For more images of the Pazyryk.