Students at the Oregon State University got the chance to witness archaeology at its prime. As lunch packs were opened close to the football field, mammoth bones were unearthed at Oregon State University.
The archeological feat wasn’t simply about mammoth bones. Over 1,000 bone pieces were found lying in the sediment layer just feet beneath the University’s football stadium. The discovery took place on Monday as the reconstruction project of the Reser Stadium was advancing. Bison to mammoth, the bone pieces are thought to be approximately 10,000 years old. However, a lot more work needs to be conducted to assess the age of each bone piece individually and create a more coherent picture.
According to the VP of marketing and university relations at the Oregon State University, Steve Clark, mammoth bones were unearthed at Oregon State University. The discovery came about as one worker involved in the Reser Stadium reconstruction project announced he might have seen a large stump lying around. One closer look later, the large stump turned to be a very large bone.
The Oregon State University officials were immediately announced, according to Tim Sissel who is the general contractor and senior project manager at Fortis Construction Inc. The university’s officials called professor Loren Davis to the Reser Stadium immediately.
An anthropology professor as well as archeologist, Loren Davis was amazed that so close to one of the most familiar places lay an incredible archeological feat.
Of the 1,000 bone pieces immediately recovered from the site, the largest bone so far belongs to one of the ancient giants. The mammoth bones were common in the pile. However, the largest is mammoth femur of 5 feet in length. According to Professor Davis this could indicate that the mammoth had been 14 to 15 feet in height.
Although the bone collection having been buried under the Reser Stadium for so long came as a surprise, Professor Davis commented that it is not unusual to find these bones here. Willamette Valley was teeming with large animals 10,000 years ago. According to Professor Davis, mammoths, tigers, lions, bison as well as beavers were part of the common fauna of the Willamette Valley.
A quick analysis of the bones indicated that among the large animals found here there could have also been some camels. It’s possible that such a large archaeological feat is due to a large pond that existed in the Willamette Valley. All these animals would have come here for drinking water. Alternatively, it would have been a dying place where dying animals gathered for their last breaths.
This isn’t the first time ancient bones were found in the area. Only 20 miles away from the Oregon State University another large archeological bounty surfaced. However, this is the first time mammoth bones and the bones of other large animals were found on campus.
The work on the mammoth bones is just starting. Soil samples collected from the site at the Reser Stadium need to be sifted for other possible remains. What we know for certain is that more news will follow.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia