WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- A 13,000-year-old bone with a carved image of a mammoth or mastodon may be the first example of Ice Age art found in the Americas, U.S. researchers say.
The bone fragment is the oldest and only known example of Ice Age art in the Western Hemisphere, experts said.
Fossil hunter James Kennedy uncovered the bone in Vero Beach, Fla., and noticed the engraving of a proboscidean -- the order of animals with trunks -- while cleaning it, redorbit.com reported Thursday.
"This is an incredibly exciting discovery," Dennis Stanford, anthropologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, said. "There are hundreds of depictions of proboscideans on cave walls and carved into bones in Europe, but none from America -- until now."
The engraving is at least 13,000 years old, the researchers said, because this is the age of the last appearances of mammoths and mastodons in eastern North America.
The research has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.