Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Delay of Game: Mammoth Bone Discovered at Oregon State University Stadium

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Delay of Game: Mammoth Bone Discovered at Oregon State University Stadium

Article excerpt

Construction workers expanding Oregon State University's Reser Stadium ran into a mammoth problem on Tuesday, when the crew unearthed a femur bone from one of the prehistoric creatures.

Archaeology students and Professor Loren Davis were "giddy" about the chance to excavate the mammoth right on campus.

"There are quite a few bones, and dozens of pieces," from a variety of species including bison and camels, Professor Davis said in an OSU press release. Dr. Davis, an OSU associate professor of anthropology, was called to the 10-foot pit after the construction crew came across the femur, and plans to have anthropology students sift through the rest of the site.

So far, they've seen no traces of human activity, and believe that the mammoth died naturally about 10,000 years ago, possibly getting stuck in a boggy marsh.

"That's pretty exciting stuff that's right below our feet," Davis says in a video posted to Twitter.

Did you just say "mammoth," Dr. Davis? (He said mammoth.) [240 159 141 150 ] #gobeavs pic.twitter.com/AYv2XiiasE-- Oregon State (@oregonstateuniv) January 27, 2016

Mammoth bones aren't too rare, he says, but this one is "an amazing find." "For me it was a very beautiful moment," OSU alumna and football facility employee Hallie Borgen told the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

Expansion of that corner of the University's Valley Football Center have been temporarily put on hold as experts examine the site, which will one day be a locker room for OSU teams. They'll also send bones for carbon testing to determine their age, and are keeping them in water to avoid deterioration in the meantime.

Today, Oregon State's teams are named after Benny Beaver, who would be dwarfed by the new find. So would the team's biggest player, who is 6'3" and 346 pounds, according to Sports Illustrated. Mammoths stood about 10 feet tall, and weighed in between 6 and 10 tons. …

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