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A Journey to a New Land

Mammoth and Scimitar Cat
Post secondary Level Resources


The Berelekh site, often referred to as the “mammoth cemetery”, is located on the bank of the Berelekh River in Siberia, near the mouth of the Indigirka River on the Arctic Ocean coast. Lying at 70ß north, Berelekh is one of the earliest archaeological sites yet found above the Arctic Circle.

Archaeologist Yuri Mochanov excavated the site in the early 1970's, and discovered a number of stone artifacts, including bifaces, blades and wedge-shaped cores. Several drilled stone pendants were also found, including one made of green jadeite. Many artifacts found were made from mammoth bone and tusk, including four mammoth tusk knives, a spear point and two scrapers.

Two radiocarbon dates put the occupation of this site at about 13,000 to 13,500 years BP, and Mochanov suggests that the site may represent the final stages of the Dyuktai culture of northern Siberia.


Further Reading:

Mochanov, Y. A. and S. A. Fedoseeva
1996 Berelekh, Allakhovsk Region. In American Beginnings: The Prehistory and Palaeoecology of Beringia, edited by F. H. West. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.