Mammoth bones found in central California

March 25, 2011 at 7:20 PM
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MONTEREY, Calif., March 25 (UPI) -- The bones of an Ice Age mammoth have been found in California's Monterey County, the first discovery of its kind in that county, researchers say.

The remains of a juvenile Columbian mammoth were uncovered by earth-moving equipment in December, Mark Hylkema, a Department of Parks archaeologist, told the Monterey Herald Friday.

The exact location of the find, somewhere near Castroville, is being kept a secret to discourage souvenir hunters from damaging, looting or contaminating the site, Hylkema said.

Hylkema, an expert on ancient cultures on California's central coast, says excavation of the site should be done "with a particular goal of looking for evidence of archaic Native American butchering or burning" in the event that the elephant-like creature was brought down by Ice Age hunters.

If charred bones are found, he said, it could indicate human association with the remains.

The composition of the soil where the remains were found indicates the mammoth died 10,000 to 25,000 years ago, Hylkema said.

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