The find was made by members and volunteers with Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (Citizan) on Thursday morning off Mersea Island.

The tusk, shown next to a 1m (3ft) measuring rod – was discovered by chance by an archaeological group which supports amateurs

Project officer Stephanie Ostrich said: "We came across it by chance. It is incredibly fragile and quite a rare find."

Samples and photographs were taken of the tusk, which was then left in situ.

Citizan works with amateur archaeologists along the coast.

The mammoth tusk was found during a "field walk" in which participants walk along a stretch of beach in a long line and record what they find.

The tusk was discovered about 1km (0.6m) from the coast off Cooper's Beach.

Mammoth factfile

  • One of the oldest-known musical instruments is a flute made from mammoth ivory
  • Most mammoth populations had died out by around 10,000 years ago although a small population of 500-1000 woolly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic until as recently as 1650 BC
  • Scientists can work out a woolly mammoth's age from the rings of its tusk in a similar way to judging a tree's age from its rings

Ms Ostrich said the photographs taken would help the London-based Citizan team create a three-dimensional image of the tusk.

Research will also be carried out into how the discovery tallies with other finds made in the area.



According to BBC