The discovery of the remains of a mammoth, Mammuthus sp., on the Principia College campus in Elsah, Illinois, has allowed for careful excavation by students over several years. The mammoth is relatively well preserved in late Wisconsin Peoria Silt on the top of the bluffs of the Mississippi River. The mammoth was buried by loess, perhaps as a result of persistent dust storms, approximately 17 500 14C years ago. This age estimate is based on the mammoth's stratigraphic position within the Peoria Silt and is loosely supported by an AMS radiocarbon age on poorly preserved collagen from tooth dentine (???17 810??4300 14C years [CAMS #104172]). Over one hundred bones or bone pieces have been excavated to-date. The skull, containing the tusks and maxillary teeth, is complete and in close proximity to associated postcranial remains, indicating that the mammoth died where it was found. The size and characteristics of skeletal elements have allowed us to determine that this was a mature male of about 41 years of age. Taxonomic attribution-either to Mammuthus primigenius or Mammuthus jeffersonii-is pending, based on the outcome of thorough analysis once the skull with dentition has been prepared from enclosing matrix. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.
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Mammoth (Mammuthus sp.) excavation on a college campus in Western Illinois, USA