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MAMMOTH DIG: Volunteers Help With Excavation

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Volunteers have been getting dirty in Mahaska County, digging up the remains of animals that once roamed Iowa thousands of years ago.

Last year a farmer in Mahaska County found a strange bone. It turns out he had discovered the bones of three woolly mammoths. The animals lived 13,000 years ago in an area that would later become the state of Iowa.

Volunteers have been helping uncover the bones. When a bone is found, its exact location is recorded.

“It's really slow work, you gotta probe the dirt first to see whether there is anything there before you dig otherwise you can damage the bones,” says volunteer Eric Dodson.

The Mahaska County Conservation Board and volunteers are not saying where the dig is in an effort to keep looters away from the site.

Board member Laura DeCook says this site is a rare and exciting find, “This site is considered one of the best sites in the United States, because of the bones we have found the multiple number of mammoths and the precious opportunity we have here locally.

The farmer who found the bones says he plans to sell some and keep some.

The Mahaska County Conservation Board plans to buy some for education. People can volunteer to help dig by contacting the board.