Mammoth Bones Found Near Football Pitch At Oregon State University


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

959 Mammoth Bones Found Near Football Pitch At Oregon State University
Loren Davis/Oregon State University via Flickr.

Just feet away from Oregon State University's football pitch, construction workers have found a jackpot of prehistoric bones.

On January 25, they were digging the grounds for a new locker room at Reser Stadium when they stumbled across a giant femur bone. Researchers at the university quickly jumped on the scene and concluded it once belonged to a mammoth.


Further digging found a whole collection of bones and dozens of their fragments. The university’s archeologists believe the bone deposit could also include remains of a bison and some kind of ancient relative of a camel or horse.

All of these animals would have roamed the plains of Oregon, sometime over 10,000 years ago. The camel-like bones could very well be a Camelop, a genus of giant camel that lived in western North America until around 11,700 years ago.

Loren Davis/Oregon State University via Flickr.

"Some of the bones are not in very good shape, but some are actually quite well preserved," Loren Davis, an associate professor of anthropology at the university, said in a statement.


The bones show no sign of injury, nor did the team find any remains of human bone or artifacts, suggesting the ancient beasts died of natural causes. They believe the 3-meter (10-foot) pit where the remains were found was perhaps a bog or marsh.

“Animals who were sick would often go to a body of water and die there, so it’s not unusual to find a group of bones like this,” Davis explained. “We had all of these types of animals in the Willamette Valley back then.

“It’ll be a great learning experience for them, to learn how to identify extinct animal bones.

“It’s really an amazing find.”


You can view all 27 photographs of the archeological dig on the Oregon State University Flickr.

Loren Davis/Oregon State University via Flickr.


  • tag
  • woolly mammoth,

  • bone,

  • archeology,

  • mammoth