Scheuerman Mammoth site (14SC327), 2015

A ten-day session at the Scheuerman Mammoth site (14SC327) in Scott County, Kansas continued to expand west and north from last year's extensive excavation block (Photo 1). This year, not far from where digging stopped in 2015, Odyssey crews located and recovered the skull of the mammoth, along with a tibia (Photo 2) and other small bone fragments. After the exposed bones were mapped and documented on level forms, they were wrapped in plaster to protect them for transport back to the University of Kansas (Photo 3). As previously observed at this site, the mammoth bones appear to lie on a fairly level surface and are encased in the upper portion of a thick deposit of late-Wisconsinan loess (Photo 4 and Photo 5). Through laboratory and field methods, Odyssey continues to investigate the possibility of human involvement in the death of this 16,000 year-old animal.

Photo 1: Excavation in late-Wisconsinan loess at the Scheuerman site.

Excavation in late-Wisconsinan loess at the Scheuerman site.

Photo 2: This season a tibia was recovered at Scheuerman.

This season a tibia was recovered at Scheuerman.

Photo 3: The crew works to apply casting to the mammoth skull. Boards are also added to support the weight of the bone and encased sediments during transport.

The crew works to apply casting to the mammoth skull.

Photo 4: Profile at 14SC327; the mammoth bones occur about 40 cm below the land surface.

Profile at 14SC327; the mammoth bones occur about 40 cm below the land surface.

Photo 5: Rolfe Mandel explains the site stratigraphy to the Odyssey crew.

Rolfe Mandel explains the site stratigraphy to the Odyssey crew.

Text and Photos by Kale Bruner

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