Corvallis – A construction crew discovered on Monday the bones of a number of animals, including a 4-foot-long femur of an extinct mammoth, while they were working in an expansion project at Oregon State University.
The bones were discovered about 10 feet underground in an area that may once have been a bog or a marsh, according to Loren Davis, associate professor of anthropology at OSU. He said that sick animals would often go to a body of water and then die there, so it’s not unusual to find a group of bones like this. Further exploration, conducted with help of archaeologists, revealed that the bones found belong to several extinct mammals –included a bison and some kind of camel or horse, all dated back 10,000 years.
Davis said the animals do not appear to have been killed, and no one has seen any signs of human bones or artifacts at the site. David explained that the Willamette Valley was an area where these animals roamed and that there had been a temperate climate in the area, so probably over time they died by natural causes.
As the crew did not discover any human’s artifacts, the Valley Football Center expansion project can proceed as planned because there are no special rules or regulations requiring the university to preserve or protect the site or the bones. But, while experts at the university remove and examine the bones, construction crews have moved to other areas to continue working.
The discovery of mammoth bones is not unusual in the Willamette Valley, according to OSU spokesman Steve Clark. Similar discoveries have been made around Corvallis, Tualatin and Woodburn. “We had all of these types of animals in the Willamette Valley back then,” David said.
Source: The Huffington Post