March 30, 2013

Mammoth Tusk Hunter, Siberia

Photograph by Evgenia Arbugaeva, National Geographic

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Magazine Features

Siberian hunter Slava Dolbaev uses a spear to dig out a corkscrewed mammoth tusk from a coastal ice cliff. Prying loose a single tusk can take hours, even days. Tusk hunters often leave colored beads or silver jewelry as offerings to local spirits.

See more pictures from the April 2013 feature story "Of Mammoths and Men."

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14 comments
CS Liao
CS Liao

The horizon line was off about 9.2 degree, but after correcting the horizontal line, I found that original photo is still better. Good job, the photo made a good story.

K. Vitug
K. Vitug

Hmmm.......... Looks like some more remains remain not excavated yet....

Rafal Tulowiecki
Rafal Tulowiecki

THIS MAMMOTH PROBABLY DIED FROM A HUNTER'S SPEAR AND 10,000YRS PASSED AND A SPEAR IS BEEING USE TO DIG OUT THAT MAMMOTH REMAIN. SIMPLY AMAZING.

Sally Whitehead
Sally Whitehead

A striking photo.  Worth nothing that that isn't really a 'spear' being used to to hack the tusks out of the ice; its an ice pick called "tuura" in Finnish (as indicated by the shape of the long and heavy head that is not pointed but a wedge).

While truly awe inspiring, it also shows us how the permafrost is indeed melting quickly in our time and how we are releasing, not just fantastic archaeological discoveries, but also the stored greenhouse gases which are also lock with that ice.  What will we learn?  And what will change in our world as a result?

www.syinc.info

Rama Raju Indukuri
Rama Raju Indukuri

It is as hard as extracting things out of a solid rock and age old spears make it even more daunting 

Hank L.
Hank L.

Interesting. I would have not guessed an "ice" cliff.

Michael Hamilton
Michael Hamilton

I would love to read an article about who these mammoth tusk hunters are, and what exactly their purpose is.  Are they hunting tusks to sell or to use as art projects?  How does one join on one of these digs, and shouldn't paleontologists be following these folks around in hopes of finding species differences?  What a great article that would be.  

Barry C.
Barry C.

Interesting tilt on the camera to place the horizon on a diagonal.  This was a really good article, for those who receive the magazine. 

Myra Linara
Myra Linara

That looks like hard, hard work but I guess it's all worth it.
"Of Mammoths and Men" proved to be an interesting read. Thank you.

Andrzej Kryński
Andrzej Kryński

@Rafal Tulowiecki I wanted to write:'Years are gone and it seems, nothing has changed.' and then I saw your post. So I can only join you.

Really amazing.

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