Published: 14:00, 07 November 2017
Workers at a dockland redevelopment have made a stunning prehistoric find.
They have unearthed the fossilised tooth of a mammoth.
The discovery was made during the excavation of the Wellington Dock Navigation Channel for the Dover Western Docks Revival.
The find was made by the principal contractor’s piling supervisor and was overseen by specialist heritage experts, Archaeology South-East (ASE).
That group is controlling the excavation at the DWDR construction site.
Kristina Krawiec, senior archaeologist at the ASE said: “This one of a range of similar finds from the region.
"It will be subjected to scientific analysis as part of the ongoing archaeological works at the site.”
It’s not clear how old the tooth is, but the last mammoths, ancestors of the modern elephant, are believed to have walked in Britain over 14,000 years ago.
What happened to the species still remains a mystery, but some believe it was wiped out by an asteroid, which sparked huge climate change.
Other theories suggest human hunting was to blame.
Josie Sinden, DWDR conservation officer at the Port of Dover said: “It’s not clear how the tooth ended up in Dover, but some suggestions include it washing down the River Dour or washing up on the beach.
Or it was used as some sort of structure by previous inhabitants or even purposely placed as a sacred item.”
Mammoth lived from 4,500 to five million years ago throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
The tooth is a remainder that Britain was once connected by land to the rest of the European Continent across which mammoths and other prehistoric creatures may have once roamed.
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