Winter 2015–2016

The Case of Lyuba

Lyuba, the world’s most complete mammoth specimen, drowned in a mudhole during the late Pleistocene ice age. She was discovered in 2006 by Yuri Khudi, a reindeer herder from Russia’s autonomous Yamal-Nenets region, who named her after his wife. Usually shipped to London’s Natural History Museum for an exhibition in 2014. Here she is in the wooden crate purpose-built for the journey—as gently cradled by the cloth and form-fitting foam as by the mud that preserved her for forty-two thousand years.