With 2 Large Tusks, the mammoth once dominated North America and Canada for 20,000 years, discovering a precious intact skeleton. p.1

Archaeology graduate students Cody Newton from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Brendon Asher from the University of Kansas have embarked on an extraordinary excavation at the Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village. This archaeological dig is quickly becoming one of the most significant finds in North America, with the potential to rewrite our understanding of prehistoric life on the continent.

The focal point of their attention is the carefully preserved skeleton of an 18-20 year old juvenile female mammoth. Working diligently, Newton and Asher delicately brush the bones, revealing the pelvis, ribs, leg bones, and magnificent tusks of the ancient creature. This remarkable find alone would be enough to captivate archaeologists and paleontologists alike, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.

The excavation site, located in a layer of peat that was submerged under 7-8 feet of water and 3-5 feet of clay, has yielded an astonishing array of fossils. The peat bog has provided a perfect environment for the preservation of ancient remains, resulting in the discovery of Bison skeletons as large as SUVs and Mastodons the size of buses. However, what truly sets this site apart is the evidence of an extended span of time in which these animals perished and were preserved.

The experts are thrilled at the prospect that this 𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁ing field, as it has come to be known, has attracted and preserved a diverse range of beast bones over an exceptionally long continuum of geologic time. This suggests that the site may be one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in North America. The implications for our understanding of the region’s ancient ecosystems and the creatures that roamed it are immense.

The initial mammoth discovery was made by Jesse Steele, a bulldozer operator from Gould Construction, on October 14th. While pushing up dirt during the reservoir’s enlargement process, Steele noticed the spine of a juvenile Columbian mammoth protruding from the ground. Little did he know that this chance find would lead to a treasure trove of ancient wonders.

What makes this discovery even more significant is the fact that Snowmass is the first site in Colorado to yield both mammoth and mastodon fossils. It appears that there may even be complete skeletons of both species, providing valuable insights into the fauna of the region during the last Ice Age.

As the excavation at the Ziegler Reservoir nears completion, scientists and researchers eagerly await further analysis of the recovered fossils. The information gleaned from this remarkable find has the potential to reshape our understanding of the ancient past and shed light on the complex interactions between prehistoric animals and their environment. Cody Newton, Brendon Asher, and the entire team involved in this excavation have truly unearthed a treasure trove of knowledge and set the stage for future archaeological breakthroughs in North America.

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