woollymammoth.org

 

 

Aerial view of the Mud Lake site with State Highway 45 to the right (East) and County Trunk V above (North).  The ditch dug in 1936 is in the center of the photo. 


Welcome to our site!

This site is designed and managed by Friends of the Ice Age, a group of professional, avocational, and amateur archeologists and paleontologists.  Its sole purpose is to provide a factual, historical and current account of research and field work dealing with woolly mammoths and mastodons, and their interaction with Paleoindians in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.  Friends of the Ice Age are centered around the activities of the Kenosha Public Museum and the Kenosha Archeology Society.

Kenosha County possesses a unique window into the Pleistocene period by virtue of its close proximity to the retreating glaciers and the moraines that were left behind.  These provided ideal flora and plentiful runoff from glacial meltwater which also provided the silt and clay that preserved these animalís skeletal remains, yet acted as a "refrigerator" for the storage of butchered remains.

At present, you will find five sites listed in these pages, which is a small handful of the 30+ sites known in Kenosha County.  Additionally, we are aware of four more mammoth sites in northern Illinois, all within twenty miles of Kenosha County.  Hopefully, through cooperation with Illinois State University and the Illinois state archeologist, we can work in conjunction to solve the riddle of why there seems to be such a large number of Pleistocene remains in this relatively small area.

Our goals are eventually (with the help of our corporate sponsors and private donations of money, sweat, and labor), to not only solve the riddles of the scavenging and killing of mammoths and mastodons, but also to look at other Pleistocene remains that have been found in Kenosha County, such as musk ox, giant beaver, reindeer, stag moose, giant bison, etc., and perhaps discover what drew them to this unique location.  The recovery of the skeletal remains with their butchery marks and the incredible dating of the bones and surrounding materials by Dr. Thomas Stafford pushes back the timeline of human presence in North America.  With the extremely important contextual evidence of the stratigraphy, pollen, and remains of wood samples that we are gathering at an incredible rate, we are gaining a better perspective of what the area looked like and what drew these animals to it.  Without the materials that surrounded the bones where they were found, we cannot determine what drew them into the area from 11,500 years before present to 13,500 years before present.

Presently, we are in a unique position to attempt to answer some of the mysteries that revolve around these many unanswered questions, not for a sense of pride or glory, but to produce actual scientific data that will help future researchers explain why we have so many sites in such a small area that were butchered and eaten by Paleoindians much earlier than the time the historical record had previously indicated for Paleoindian presence.

The material you will find in this site is purely scientific fact, combined with a good dose of guesswork and theory as to why this situation occurred.


          Mammoth History in Kenosha County


The following excavation sites are located in Kenosha County, WI.  
          Schaefer Excavation
          Mud Lake Excavation
          Fenske Excavation
          Hebior Excavation

          Clovis finds in and around Kenosha County
                             

          Read More about the Mammoths of Kenosha County, Wisconsin
          Links to other sites

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Drawing by Rachel Klees -  copyright by the Kenosha Public Museum      

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