By Esma Kucuksahin
KAYSERI, Turkey (AA) – Bovidae fossils, estimated to be around 7.5 million years old, were discovered in Turkey's central Anatolian province of Kayseri.
Bovidae are the biological family of hoofed animals such as buffalos, sheep and goats.
The archaeological excavations started near Cevril neighborhood after a shepherd found a fossil.
Kayseri Mayor Mustafa Celik held a press meeting to announce the new discovery along with Professor Oksan Basoglu of the archaeology department at Gazi University and Professor Cesur Pehlivan, dean of the fine arts faculty at Haci Bektas Veli University.
Celik said upon the call of the shepherd, the municipality alerted scientists to excavate the area.
"Our scientists said these fossils are one-of-a-kind in Turkey as they are in one piece," said Celik. "They said that these bovidae fossils most probably belong to ancient elephants," he said.
Basoglu said the Anatolia region is full of rich fossil beds because of its geographic location.
"Kayseri can be a hub in this prospect. We have been working in this area since last week and found amazing stuff," the professor said.
Pehlivan said the fossils are estimated to be around 7.5 million years old.
"The researches continue about this matter, we are still at the beginning. I do not think it is right to say which animal exactly," the professor said.
"But we can say about the fossils that they belong to elephants, mammoths that do not exist anymore in today's world."