Fossilized tusk from giant elephant found in Israel

STORY: This fossilized tusk is from a giant prehistoric elephant

It was discovered at an excavation site in southern Israel

(Avi Levy, Prehistorian)

"What we are seeing here today is an elephant tusk, it's a straight tusk elephant, it's huge, it's two and half meters long, its diameter is 20 centimeters, and you can imagine how much he weighed. One tusk of a straight tusk elephant weighed around 150 kilos."

The tusk is estimated to be around half a million years old

The now-extinct species was much larger than African elephants

and was hunted by humans for food and possibly symbolic purposes

"What we are going to do is preserve it, we put a cast on it to make it as preserved as much as possible, then we take it out complete to our labs to do a series of analysis, we try to define the age, where he lived, where he walked, the surrounding that he was."

It’s the largest complete fossil tusk ever found at a prehistoric site in Israel or the Near East

It will be displayed at Jerusalem’s National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel