Modern studies of the resources of fossil mammoth tusks in the Arctic zone of Yakutia (northeast Siberia, Russia)
Mammoth tusk is an important material for the economy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), in which bone carving is historically widespread. In addition, in recent decades, Yakutia is the largest exporter of mammoth tusks abroad. The Arctic part of Yakutia is the only region of Russia and the World where a long and steady mining of fossil mammoth bones and tusks has taken place. In this regard, the question of assessing the resources of the mammoth tusks in the Arctic zone of Yakutia is actual. To calculate the annual collection amounts of the mammoth tusks in the Arctic zone of Yakutia, we used various sources. In order to determine the prognostic resources of the mammoth tusks in the Arctic zone of Yakutia, we calculated the area of Yedoma sediments, containg the mammoth tusks. According to recent estimates, based on new data on the melting of Yedoma sediments in the north of Yakutia and the level of collection of mammoth tusks in last years, Yedoma sediments in the Arctic zone of Yakutia can contain from 143, 539.03 to 170,220.7 tons of mammoth tusks. These calculations are very rough, but in general they are very close to the results of our previous calculations (maximum about 140 thousand tons) and calculations of other researchers (N. Vereshchagin - 150 thousand tons, A. Smirnov - 184 thousand tons). Thus, Yedoma sediments of Northern Yakutia can contain from 140 thousand tons to almost 200 thousand tons of mammoth tusks. Large amount of this valuable raw material can play a significant economic role for the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)in future.
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