As kids, most of us at one time or another probably imagined being a paleontologist. Sifting and digging through the dirt and sand and in far away lands to find the bones of giant creatures. Jurassic Park was always one of my favorite movies as a kid. The opening scene where they are excavating a Velociraptor became a dream of mine. To find the remnants of a creature long since lost and gone from this world is pretty fascinating to me. What would happen if you were digging in your own backyard and found something completely extraordinary? You’d probably be pretty damn excited right? Well take a look at what this man and his friend from Michigan unearthed while digging in a newly acquired parcel of land. You seriously don’t want to miss this.
James Bristle, a farmer in Chelsea, Michigan had recently acquired a parcel of land that was being used as a soy bean field. The family bought the farm across the new piece of land back in the 1950’s. James and a friend were inspecting the new piece of land when they came across something they never could have imagined.
While digging through the soil, James came across what he originally thought was an old bent fence post. He started to examine it more closely however. His mind started racing when he came to the realization that this was looking more and more like bone!
“We knew it was something that was out of the norm, my grandson came over to look at it, he’s 5-years-old, he was speechless.” Bristle said.
James decided to call in someone who might be able to shed some more light on what he had found. He contacted the University of Michigan Professor and curator and director of the Museum of Paleontology Daniel Fisher (Hail to the Victors!). James was on a time crunch with needing to use this land, so Daniel and his team of researchers knew they had to jump into action.
They immediately started excavating when they got to the site. What they found blew even the trained professionals away. A buried Woolly Mammoth skull, tusks, jaw, shoulder blades and vertebrae.
Daniel Fisher believes that this particular Woolly Mammoth is actually the carcass of one that was butchered by humans. By his estimations the Mammoth died around 11,000 years ago, and was about 40 years old when it died.
The people who killed this animal and carved up the carcass are known as Paleo-Indians. Fisher theorizes that the animal was cut apart and stored in a pond for a reserve food supply.
“It’s a pretty exciting day, I’ve been digging for 45 years and I’ve never dug anything up like that.” James Bollinger, a local excavator who has been assisting in the dig said.
Fisher stated that this is one of the most complete Mammoth skeletons he has ever been a part of excavating. He says the more common find in Michigan is a Mastodon.
Fisher told reporters that this find could change the history of the area and put a new timeline on when humans were in this area of the world.
The bones are currently sitting on this flatbed in one of James barns. Fisher will begin the cleaning process there.
Bristle has decided to donate the bones to the University of Michigan so they can be put on display for many more people to enjoy. “I’d like it to go to a place where more people can see it and we can learn more about history from it,” he said. “Really it’s just the right thing to do.”
Check Out This Video Of This Buried Woolly Mammoth Excavation:
This really is like a personal version of Jurassic Park. Who would ever think they would be lucky enough to come across something like this right their own backyard? James should be applauded for his decision to donate the bones so everyone can have a chance to look and appreciate this incredible discovery. He could have went the route of trying to sell the bones to the highest bidder. He even had someone come up and ask to buy some of the ivory from the tusks to make a unique instrument. The next time I take a trip back home to Michigan I am going to have to make an effort to see this incredible discovery.