An American farmer in Chelsea, Michigan unearthed a partial woolly mammoth skeleton last week, while digging a trench for a waterline.

The farmer, James Bristle, initially thought he stumbled on an old fence post covered in mud, but upon further inspection he realised what he found were bones. Bristle contacted the University of Michigan and was put in contact with Professor Daniel Fisher, director of the Museum of Palaeontology. Fisher visited the farm the same day and the excavation quickly followed.

In a video interview published on the university’s YouTube channel, Fisher shared that the mammoth may have lived 10 000 to 15 000 years ago and that during the excavation three types of evidence of human activity was found. The evidence includes a fragment of what may be a stone tool, a sequence of “tightly” articulated neck vertebrae, as well as three large boulders which may have been used as an anchor.

He also explained that the working hypothesis for the partial remains found is that the animal was moved for storage in a pond, with the intention of retrieval when fresh meat was needed. Fisher added that, depending on the age of the bones, the evidence of human activity could have significant value.

News sources report that while there have been multiple discoveries of Woolly Mammoth remains in Michigan, this might be one of the largest.

Source: Chelsea Update

Video and image credit: University of Michigan