Category Archives: RUSSIA

This 2,500-year-old female mummy dubbed the “Altai Princess” is one of few known mummies with visible tattoos

This 2,500-year-old female mummy dubbed the “Altai Princess” is one of few known mummies with visible tattoos

Tattoos aren’t just a trendy way for people to express themselves – they’re also apparently a time-honoured tradition dating back almost three thousand years.

A Siberian mummy, who researchers believe was buried 2500 years ago, will show off her intricate ink when she finally goes on display this month, and her shockingly well-preserved body art makes her look surprisingly modern.

The mummified body of the young woman, believed to be between 25 and 28 years old, was found in 1993, researchers told The Siberian Times.

Local groups have objected to the Siberian Princess’s remains going on display. Initially they were promised her body (pictured) would not be shown in public but that decision appears to have been reversed

Since then she has been kept frozen in a scientific institute, but she will soon be available to the public to be viewed from a glass case at the Republican National Museum in Siberia’s capital of Gorno-Altaisk.

The woman, dubbed in the media as the Ukok “princes,” was found wearing expensive clothing – a long silk shirt and beautifully decorated boots – as well as a horsehair wig.

Dug from her permafrost burial chamber on the high Ukok Plateau in 1993, analysis of the princess’ remains highlighted sophisticated tattoos of ‘great artistry’ of fantastical creatures (shown)

Archaeologists told the paper that because she was not buried with any weapons she was not a warrior and that she was likely a healer or storyteller.

Though her face and neck weren’t preserved, she was inked across both arms and on her fingers, in what researchers say was an indication of status.

“The more tattoos were on the body, the longer it meant the person lived, and the higher was his position,” lead researcher Natalia Polosmak told the Times.

The woman was buried beside two men whose bodies also bore tattoos, as well as six horses. Researchers think the group belonged to the nomadic Pazyryk people, and that their body art is something special even in comparison to other mummies who have been found with tattoos in the past.

Researchers found the woman’s tattoos were designs based on fantastical-looking animals (illustrated)

“Those on the mummies of the Pazyryk people are the most complicated and the most beautiful,” Polosmak told the Times.

“It is a phenomenal level of tattoo art,” she said. “Incredible.”

Not everyone was pleased that the mummy was uncovered.

Controversy erupted after she was discovered, as many believed she should not have been removed from her burial site. Some locals even believed her grave’s disruption caused a “curse of the mummy” which they blamed for the crash of the helicopter carrying her remains.

“The Altai people never disturb the repose of the interned,” Rimma Erkinova, deputy director of the Gorno-Altaisk Republican National Museum told the Times. “We shouldn’t have any more excavations until we’ve worked out a proper moral and ethical approach.”

Local authorities in the region have declared the area a ‘zone of peace,’ so no more excavations can be done in an effort to prevent plundering, though scientists believe there are many more mummies that can be found.

The 2,50-year-old rug is a wonderful reflection of the Advanced Culture of the Pazyryk Nomads

The 2,50-year-old rug is a wonderful reflection of the Advanced Culture of the Pazyryk Nomads

In 1948, Altai Mountains excavated the oldest hand-knotted oriental rug. It was discovered in the grave of the prince of Altai near Pazyryk, 5400 feet above sea level, and clearly shows how well hand-knotted rugs were produced thousands of years ago.

The Pazyryk carpet was woven in the 5th century B.C., making it approximately 2,500 years old, according to radiocarbon dating.

The advanced weaving techniques and the sophisticated design and construction, used in this rug, suggest the art of carpet weaving to go back much further than the 5th century B.C.. to be at least 4000 years old. Today the rug is in the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, Russia.

Detail of the Pazyryk carpet from a replica in the Carpet Museum of Iran

When the prince of Altai died, he was buried in a grave mound with many of his prized possessions, including the Pazryk Carpet. Unfortunately, soon after, the grave mound was robbed of its prized possessions, with the exception of the rug.

The rug was semi-frozen because the thieves did not bother to cover up the hole they had dug to retrieve the items, rendering the hole exposed to the elements within the tomb.

The combination of low temperature and precipitation within the tomb subsequently froze the carpet, and preserved it in a thick sheet of ice, protecting it for twenty-five centuries. This somewhat ironic story is the reason that the Pazyryk rug still exists today.

Although it was found in a Scythian burial mound, most experts attribute the Pazyryk rug to Persia.

Pazyryk horseman. Circa 300 BCE. Detail from a carpet in the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

Its design is in the same style as the sculptures of Persepolis, The outer of the two principal border bands is decorated with a line of horsemen: seven on each side, twenty-eight in number — a figure which corresponds to the number of males who carried the throne of Xerxes to Perspolis. Some are mounted, while others walk beside their horses. In the inner principal band, there is a line of six elks on each side.

The extra figures inside the elks are depicting the inwards and the vertebra of the elk, all parts in real positions with nearly clinical precision:

1. The heart, just above the front legs (a yellow framed red sphere, black contoured).

2. The aorta (a long red protuberance on the heart).

3. The maw, on the right-hand side of the sphere (a large yellow area with a widening upwards on the end).

4. The intestine, in the rear end (a yellow square surrounded by a light blue and a yellow bow).

5. Possibly the urethra, on the upper part of the right hind leg (a yellow line with a black point), better to see on some others deer on the border.

6. The vertebra, directly below the brown back contour (an alternating black-white chain).

A New Human Ancestor Species Has Been Found… It also had a tail!

A New Human Ancestor Species Has Been Found… It also had a tail!

Just published by a multinational team of archaeologist, anthropologists and genetics, this shocking study details Homo apriliensis in detail. The building is based on fragments of fossil bones dating back about 50,000 years that were discovered in a cave in Siberia in April of last year.

The fossils consist of a pelvis, femur, coccyx, and a segment of the lower jaw. The fossils were originally thought to belong to our ancestors, Homo sapiens, but later DNA analysis revealed that they were indeed human, but of a different kind.

According to the Ancient assets, The new species was named Homo apriliensis, which is the same genus Homo as us.

In their DNA there are genetic traces of two other species, Denisovan and Homo sapiens, indicating that the three species had heterogeneous interbreeding at some point.

Human aprilensis has visible traces of a small tail.

An illustration depicting a human-like creature with a tail

However, according to Professor John Bennett, who teaches in the Department of Archeology at the University of Sheffield (UK) and Director of the British School in Athens (Greece), who is one of the main authors of the study, the extra part of the body remains as if it were an ancient remnant of normal evolution.

It is similar to the appendix or wisdom tooth in modern humans.

The modern human fetus also has a tail in the first four parts, after it absorbs it by the body and leaves a trace of the coccyx.

The human coccyx or ‘tailbone’

With Homo apriliensis, the tail fetus is not completely absorbed but retains a small portion at the birth of the body. It is the first type of genus to have a tail.

The traces of the tail were discovered a year before the remains were discovered, she said Science Times.

However, the published evidence that we and our Homo sapiens interbreed this time is shocking.

According to the authors, this is the most important discovery related to human origin in the past 100 years.

These are the early search results. They are looking at a number of other issues such as when and how the species became extinct, with more results expected to be released next year.

Massive Megalithic Stone Ruins Discovered in Russia

Massive Megalithic Stone Ruins Discovered in Russia

An incredible discovery that was recently made in Russia threatens to shatter conventional theories about the history of the planet.  In southern Siberia, researchers have found an absolutely massive wall of granite stones. 

Some of these gigantic granite stones are estimated to weigh more than 3,000 tons, and as you will see below, many of them were cut “with flat surfaces, right angles, and sharp corners”.  Nothing of this magnitude has ever been discovered before.

The largest stone found at the megalithic ruins at Baalbek, Lebanon is less than 1,500 tons. So how in the world did someone cut 3,000-ton granite stones with extreme precision, transport them up the side of a mountain and stack them 40 meters high?

Massive Megalithic Stone Ruins Discovered in Russia
Massive Megalithic Ruins Discovered in Russia Containing the Largest Blocks of Stone Ever Found.

According to the commonly accepted version of history, it would be impossible for ancient humans with very limited technology to accomplish such a thing. Could it be possible that there is much more to the history of this planet than we are being taught?

For years, historians and archaeologists have absolutely marvelled at the incredibly huge stones found at Baalbek. But some of these stones in Russia are reportedly more than twice the size. Needless to say, a lot of people are getting very excited about this discovery.

The following comes from a recent article in the magazine, Mysterious Universe:

“Alternate history buffs are about to be whipped into a frenzy! OK, maybe not, but they will find this interesting.”

“An ancient “super-megalithic” site has been found in Gornaya Shoria (Mount Shoria) in southern Siberia.

“This spectacular archaeological site consists of massive blocks of stone, which appear to be granite, with flat surfaces, right angles, and sharp corners.”

“These huge blocks appear to be stacked up and fitted together, almost in the manner of cyclopean masonry, and well…they’re enormous!”

“Russia is no stranger to ancient megalithic sites, like Arkaim  (Russia’s Stonehenge), and the Manpupuner formation, just to name two.”

“But the site at Shoria is unique in that, if it’s man-made, the blocks used are undoubtedly the largest ever worked by human hands.”

Prior to this expedition, there were no known photographs of these megalithic stones. Archaeologist John Jensen is mystified by these ancient ruins, and the following is an excerpt from a post on his personal blog.

“There are no measurements given, but from the scale depicted by the human figures, these megaliths are much larger (as much as 2 to 3 times larger) than the largest known megaliths in the world.

(Example: The Pregnant Woman Stone of Baalbek, the largest single known stone at the archaeological site in Lebanon, weighs in at approximately 1,260 ton). Some of these megaliths could easily weigh upwards of 3,000 to 4,000 tons.”

Of course, much more research needs to be done on this site. Nobody knows who cut these stones or how old they are. Jensen believes that they come from a time well back into the mists of pre-history.

“These megaliths reach well back into the mists of pre-history, so far in fact, that conjecture about their ‘builders’, methods, purpose and meaning is pure speculation, and as such, I would hesitate to offer any observation at all, other than to say our pre-historical past is richer than we ever dreamed.”

These stones are likely to remain an unsolved mystery for a very long time. But what is abundantly clear is that according to the commonly accepted version of history they should not be there. And of course, this is far from the only site around the world that contains massive megalithic ruins.

Evidence continues to mount that very sophisticated technology was used in the ancient world. These megalithic ruins are undeniable reminders of highly advanced ancient civilizations. So who were they and what happened to them? Could it be possible that they were wiped out by a massive global cataclysm such as a global flood?

World’s oldest wooden statue is TWICE as old as Stonehenge

World’s oldest wooden statue is TWICE as old as Stonehenge

Gold prospectors first discovered the so-called Shigir Idol at the bottom of a peat bog in Russia’s Ural mountain range in 1890. The unique object—a nine-foot-tall totem pole composed of ten wooden fragments carved with expressive faces, eyes and limbs and decorated with geometric patterns—represents the oldest known surviving work of wooden ritual art in the world.

World's oldest wooden statue is TWICE as old as Stonehenge
Hunter-gatherers in what is now Russia likely viewed the wooden sculpture as an artwork imbued with ritual significance.

More than a century after its discovery, archaeologists continue to uncover surprises about this astonishing artefact. As Thomas Terberger, a scholar of prehistory at Göttingen University in Germany, and his colleagues wrote in the journal Quaternary International in January, new research suggests the sculpture is 900 years older than previously thought.

Based on extensive analysis, Terberger’s team now estimates that the object was likely crafted about 12,500 years ago, at the end of the Last Ice Age. Its ancient creators carved the work from a single larch tree with 159 growth rings, the authors write in the study.

“The idol was carved during an era of great climate change, when early forests were spreading across a warmer late-glacial to postglacial Eurasia,” Terberger tells Franz Lidz of the New York Times.

“The landscape changed, and the art—figurative designs and naturalistic animals painted in caves and carved in rock—did, too, perhaps as a way to help people come to grips with the challenging environments they encountered.”

According to Sarah Cascone of Artnet News, the new findings indicate that the rare artwork predates Stonehenge, which was created around 5,000 years ago, by more than 7,000 years. It’s also twice as old as the Egyptian pyramids, which date roughly 4,500 years ago.

As the Times reports, researchers have been puzzling over the age of the Shigir sculpture for decades. The debate has major implications for the study of prehistory, which tends to emphasize a Western-centric view of human development.

The wood used to carve the Shigir Idol is around 12,250 years old.
Shigir Idol – the oldest known wooden sculpture in the world.

In 1997, Russian scientists carbon-dated the totem pole to about 9,500 years ago. Many in the scientific community rejected these findings as implausible: Reluctant to believe that hunter-gatherer communities in the Urals and Siberia had created art or formed cultures of their own, says Terberger to the Times, researchers instead presented a narrative of human evolution that centered European history, with ancient farming societies in the Fertile Crescent eventually sowing the seeds of Western civilization.

Prevailing views over the past century adds Terberger, regarded hunter-gatherers as “inferior to early agrarian communities emerging at that time in the Levant. At the same time, the archaeological evidence from the Urals and Siberia was underestimated and neglected.”

In 2018, scientists including Terberger used accelerator mass spectrometry technology to argue that the wooden object was about 11,600 years old. Now, the team’s latest publication has pushed that origin date back even further.

As Artnet News reports, the complex symbols carved into the object’s wooden surface indicate that its creators made it as a work of “mobiliary art,” or portable art that carried ritual significance.

Co-author Svetlana Savchenko, the curator in charge of the artifact at the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore, tells the Times that the eight faces may contain encrypted references to a creation myth or the boundary between the earth and sky.

“Woodworking was probably widespread during the Late Glacial to early Holocene,” the authors wrote in the 2018 article. “We see the Shigir sculpture as a document of a complex symbolic behaviour and of the spiritual world of the Late Glacial to Early Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of the Urals.”

The fact that this rare evidence of hunter-gatherer artwork endured until modern times is a marvel in and of itself, notes Science Alert. The acidic, antimicrobial environment of the Russian peat bog preserved the wooden structure for millennia.

João Zilhão, a scholar at the University of Barcelona who was not involved in the study, tells the Times that the artefact’s remarkable survival reminds scientists of an important truth: that a lack of evidence of ancient art doesn’t mean it never existed.

Rather, many ancient people created art objects out of perishable materials that could not withstand the test of time and were therefore left out of the archaeological record.

“It’s similar to the ‘Neanderthals did not make art’ fable, which was entirely based on the absence of evidence,” Zilhão says. “Likewise, the overwhelming scientific consensus used to hold that modern humans were superior in key ways, including their ability to innovate, communicate and adapt to different environments. Nonsense, all of it.”

Head of the Shigir Idol, the world’s oldest known wood sculpture.

Remarkable 3,900-Year-Old Suit Of Bone Armor Found In Siberia

Remarkable 3,900-Year-Old Suit Of Bone Armor Found In Siberia

Archaeologists are intrigued by the discovery of the complete set of well-preserved bone armour which is seen as having belonged to an ‘elite’ warrior. The armour was in ‘perfect condition’ – and in its era was ‘more precious than life’, say experts.

‘It was more precious than life, because it saved life’.

It was buried separate from its owner and no other examples of such battle dress have been found around Omsk. The analysis is expected to determine its exact age but Siberian archaeologists say it dates from 3,900 to 3,500 years ago. 

Nearby archaeological finds are from the Krotov culture, lived in a forest-steppe area of Western Siberia, but this bone armour more closely resembles that of the  Samus-Seyminskaya culture, which originated in the area of the Altai Mountains, some 1,000 km to the south-east, and migrated to the Omsk area. The armour could have been a gift, or an exchange, or was perhaps the spoils of war.

Boris Konikov, the curator of excavations, said: ‘It is unique first of all because such armour was highly valued. It was more precious than life because it saved a life. 

‘Secondly, it was found in a settlement, and this has never happened before. There were found separate fragments in burials, like on Rostovka burial ground.’

Currently, the experts say they do not know which creature’s bones were used in making the armour. Found at a depth of 1.5 metres at a site of a sanatorium where there are now plans to build a five-star hotel, the armour is now undergoing cleaning and restoration.

‘We ourselves can not wait to see it, but at the moment it undergoing restoration, which is a long, painstaking process. As a result, we hope to reconstruct an exact copy’, Boris Konikov said. 

Scientist Yury Gerasimov, a research fellow of the Omsk branch of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, said: ‘While there is no indication that the place of discovery of the armour was a place of worship, it is very likely. Armour had great material value. There was no sense to dig it in the ground or hide it for a long time – because the fixings and the bones would be ruined.

‘Such armour needs constant care. At the moment we can only fantasise – who dug it into the ground and for what purpose. Was it some ritual or sacrifice? We do not know yet.’

Gerasimov, who is engaged in the restoration, said: ‘Each armour plate in the ground was divided into many small fragments, which are held only by this ground. The structure was removed from the excavation, in ‘monolith’ as archaeologists say – namely, intact with the piece of ground, not in separate plates, and taken to the museum. 

‘Now we need to clean these small fragments of bone plates, make photographs and sketches of their location, and then glue them in a full plate.’

He is certain that the armour belonged to a ‘hero’, an ‘elite warrior who knew special methods of battle’ and would have ‘given good protection from weapons that were used at the time – bone and stone arrowheads, bronze knives, spears tipped with bronze, and bronze axes’. 

Lots to do – Siberian archaeologists have months to assemble parts of the armour together. Pictures: Maria Savilovitch, Yuri Gerasimov

The archaeological site where the armour was found includes a complex of monuments belonging to different epochs. There are settlements, burial grounds, and manufacturing sites. Burials have been found here from the  Early Neolithic period to the Middle Ages. 

The site, beside the Irtysh River, is now owned by Popov Omsk Radio Factory which has supported the archaeological research.

Konikov, who worked on the site as a researcher for many years and is now a representative of the plant, supervising the excavations, said: ‘Our goal is to save the site, to research it and to promote it. 

‘We organise excursions for schoolchildren and draw the attention of citizens to this unique site.’

Archaeologists Find A 2,500-Year-Old Grave In Siberia That Contains An Ancient Warrior Couple

Archaeologists Find A 2,500-Year-Old Grave In Siberia That Contains An Ancient Warrior Couple

On an investigation to a 2,500-year-year-old tomb of an ancient warrior and princess was discovered in Siberia. The pair are believed to have died in their 30s and were buried with a baby and an ‘elderly’ servant woman, archaeologists say.

The woman may have been 60 years of age when she died, as she died and was entombed in a crumpled position under the feet of the couple, who may have been spouses.

Remains of the child were scattered throughout the grave, which archaeologists say probably happened when rodents ate the flesh of the deceased. 

Experts unearthing the find in southern Siberia say the four people probably succumbed simultaneously to the same infection, and the servant was buried alongside them to look after the family in the afterlife. 

The warrior couple, the woman specifically, maybe proof of the lost Scythian civilisation, which inhabited the region of modern-day Russia until 2,200 years ago.

The pair are believed to have died in their 30s and were buried with a baby and an ‘elderly’ servant woman, archaeologists say. The elderly woman was likely in her 60s when she died. The bones of the child were scattered throughout the grave, probably by rodents

The fighter woman in the grave was buried with the same weaponry as the man, the researchers say, which is unusual.  In surviving records and other graves from the same time frame and location, female warriors were buried with a bow and arrows, long-range weapons, 

But the woman in the newly unearthed grave was armed with a long-handled weapon, either a hatchet or an axe, and a short sword. These weapons are best suited for hand-to-hand combat and a bloody melee and this difference is indicative of the Scythian culture, researchers say.   

Dr Oleg Mitko, head of Archeology at Novosibirsk State University, said: ‘We have an impressive set of weaponry. 

‘We found close fight weapons in a female grave, which is not so typical. The woman had a battle-axe.. so she was a part of warrior strata.’

Senior researcher Yuri Teterin said: ‘The man had two axes and two bronze daggers.

‘It is a brilliant burial in that there is an authentic bronze weaponry.’ The man also had a bronze mirror, the researchers say.

Wooden handles of the weapons have no survived millennia in soil, but the metallic elements have. The couple, the baby and servant, are from the Tagar culture, part of the Scythian civilisation, researchers believe. 

In contrast to other female warriors from ancient Siberia, the female in the grave was armed in with a long-handled weapon, either a hatchet or an axe, and a short sword. These weapons are best suited for hand-to-hand combat
The couple, the baby and servant, are from the Tagar culture, part of the Scythian civilisation, researchers believe

The older woman had two broken teeth and her possessions were only a broken comb and a small ceramic vessel, indicating she had little personal wealth.  

Larger ceramic vessels – believed to have been full of food – were also discovered which were filled with mutton and beef, researchers say. 

When they were buried 2,500 years ago, the grave goods and food would have been buried alongside the people because it was believed it helped people in the afterlife.

Scientists say there is no immediate evidence of battle wounds to suggest a cause of death, but further research will be undertaken.

One theory is that they succumbed to an infection at the same time, leading to them all being buried simultaneously. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus left a detailed account of the Scythians and their young women warriors.

But physician Hippocrates added that a young woman would cease her role as a fighter after ‘she takes to herself a husband’.

‘They do not lay aside their virginity until they have killed three of their enemies, and they do not marry before they have performed the traditional sacred rites.’

‘Yet in this case, the woman warrior appears part of a family unit.

Archaeologist Anatoly Vybornov said: ‘Both male and women took part in hostilities. Violence was an acceptable and legal way to solve the problems then.’ 

World Oldest DNA Discovered in 1.2 Million Year Old Mammoth Teeth

World Oldest DNA Discovered in 1.2 Million Year Old Mammoth Teeth

As part of a study that uncovers new information about extinct animals, scientists have discovered the oldest DNA on record, extracting it from the molars of mammoths that roamed northeastern Siberia up to 1.2 million years ago 

Scientists announced on Wednesday that they have successfully retrieved and sequenced DNA from three different mammoths— elephant cousins that were among the large mammals that dominated Ice Age landscapes — entombed in permafrost conditions conducive to the preservation of ancient genetic material.

While the remains were discovered starting in the 1970s, new scientific methods were needed to extract the DNA.

An artist’s reconstruction shows the extinct steppe mammoth, an evolutionary predecessor to the woolly mammoth that flourished during the last Ice Age.

The oldest of the three, discovered near the Krestovka river, was approximately 1.2 million years old. Another, from near the Adycha river, was approximately 1 to 1.2 million years old. The third, from near the Chukochya river, was roughly700,000 years old.

“This is by a wide margin the oldest DNA ever recovered,” said evolutionary geneticist Love Dalén of the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Sweden, who led the research published in the journal Nature.

Until now, the oldest DNA came from a horse that lived in Canada’s Yukon territory about 700,000 years ago. By way of comparison, our species, Homo sapiens, first appeared roughly 300,000 years ago.

DNA is the self-replicating material that carries genetic information in living organisms — sort of a blueprint of life. “This DNA was extremely degraded into very small pieces, and so we had to sequence many billions of ultra-short DNA sequences in order to puzzle these genomes together,” Dalén said.

Most knowledge about prehistoric creatures comes from studying skeletal fossils, but there is a limit to what these can tell about an organism, particularly relating to genetic relationships and traits.

Ancient DNA can help fill in the blanks but is highly perishable. Sophisticated new research techniques are enabling scientists to recover ever-older DNA.

“It would be a wild guess, but a maximum of two to three million years should be doable,” Dalén said.

That could shed light on some bygone species but would leave many others unattainable — including the dinosaurs, who went extinct 66 million years ago.

World Oldest DNA Discovered in 1.2 Million Year Old Mammoth Teeth
Palaeontologists Love Dalén and Patricia Pecnerova with a mammoth tusk on Wrangel Island, Arctic Ocean.

“When we can get DNA on a million-year time scale, we can study the process of speciation (formation of new species) in a much more detailed way. Morphological analyses on bones and teeth usually only allow researchers to study a handful of characteristics in the fossils, whereas with genomics we are analysing many tens of thousands of characteristics,” Dalén said.

The researchers gained insights into mammoth evolution and migration by comparing the DNA to that of mammoths that lived more recently. The last mammoths disappeared roughly 4,000 years ago.

The oldest of the three specimens, the Krestovka mammoth, belonged to a previously unknown genetic lineage that more than 2 million years ago diverged from the lineage that led to the well-known woolly mammoth.

Geneticist Tom van der Valk of SciLife Lab in Sweden, the study’s first author, said it appears that members of the Krestovka lineage were the first mammoths to migrate from Siberia into North America over a now-disappeared land bridge about 1.5 million years ago, with woolly mammoths later migrating about 400,000 to 500,000 years ago.

The Adycha mammoth’s lineage apparently was ancestral to the woolly mammoth, they found, and the Chukochya individual is one of the oldest-known woolly mammoth specimens.

DNA analyses showed that genetic variants associated with enduring frigid climes such as hair growth, thermoregulation, fat deposits, cold tolerance and circadian rhythms were present long before the origin of the woolly mammoth.