Stadium Crew Scores a Mammoth in End-Zone Dig

Oregon workers find bones belonging to Ice Age critter
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2016 12:38 PM CST
Stadium Crew Scores a Mammoth in End-Zone Dig
Bone fragments are seen at a construction site at OSU.   (Loren Davis/OSU)

Construction crews have scored big—and we mean big—in the end zone of Oregon State University's Reser Stadium. But this was no touchdown. While working on the Valley Football Center expansion, crews uncovered the remains of a mammoth that roamed the region at least 10,000 years ago when it was likely a bog or marsh, reports KATU. The bones—which reportedly include an intact femur bone—could actually be "tens of thousands of years old," an official tells the Oregonian, adding bones believed to belong to a bison and camel were also found. "There are quite a few bones, and dozens of pieces," an expert says. "Some of the bones are not in very good shape, but some are actually quite well preserved."

Since no human bones were found, the area is a paleontological site rather than an archaeological one and is not protected under Oregon law, reports the Corvallis Gazette-Times. However, officials have closed off the area while construction continues nearby. It isn't clear if all of the bones will be unearthed, but archaeology students will sift through some of the debris. "They're really giddy because usually when they find these things they have to drive three hours to get to them," an official says. An employee at the Valley Football Center describes the discovery as one of the best moments of her life. "How many other universities can say something that amazing was found at their football stadium?" she says. (This farmer mistook a mammoth bone for a fence post.)

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