“A piece of Valdarno’s history and an exceptional find”: these were the words used last September at a press conference at the Accademia del Poggio, to make the public announcement about the discovery of two tusks, a skull and the ulna of a specimen of mammuthus meridionalis.
The discovery, made in the first instance by two hunters, immediately led to the President of the Accademia del Poggio, Lorenzo Stanzini, launching the bureaucratic process which involved the Regional Board for Cultural Heritage, represented by Ms Anna di Bene and Ms Ursula Wierer, and professor Paul Mazza from the University of Siena along with other local institutions and companies.
The mammoth, initially wrapped at the discovery site, needed our help. Moretti S.p.A. provided support with the excavation work and transport, which allowed the finds to be moved from the discovery site, and hosted the mammoth in its warehouses, set up as a temporary laboratory so as to enable the complex removal phase of all the earth deposits enveloping the exhibits. They were then cleaned thoroughly and the consolidation work was continued that had partly taken place during the excavation, including the integration of some abraded parts.
Just a few days ago the restorer Antonella Aquiloni, assisted by Moretti’s Fabrizio Fabbrini, managed to complete the restoration work which included the liberation of the skull from the surrounding sediment, allowing the consolidation of the various parts of the skeleton.
This first stage ended with the packaging and transportation of the fossil from our warehouses in San Giovanni Valdarno to its permanent location, the Palaeontological Museum of Montevarchi.
The intervention was planned and supported through a fruitful collaboration between the Board of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Siena, Grosseto and Arezzo, the Accademia Valdarnese del Poggio – Museo Paleontologico and the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Florence with the support of private individuals and local companies. An example of Teamwork that involved us directly and that helped to significantly increase the cultural heritage of our region.