Clair Scarborough, PR Coordinator for the Mammoth Site, says, “The mammoth site is currently still an active dig site. We were discovered in 1974 and have been digging since then. We have found over 60 mammoths and other creatures so far; 56 are Columbian, four are woolly mammoths. We are one of the largest mammoth research facilities in the world. And we do a lot of outreach and education as well.”
At the Mammoth Site, there is a bonebed which is where the digging happens. Scarborough continues, “This is where the mammoths and other creatures are being discovered. But we also have a lot of hands-on displays that go through different things in the Black Hills that the Mammoth Site is associated with. So, that may be caves that they are currently digging in to help with ancient animals and Ice Age animals. We also have museum exhibits as well, including our Snake River exhibit. Snake River is located in Becker, Minnesota. It is an Ice Age bison dig that we are doing right now.”
The Mammoth Site is also a source of education. For example, the Mammoth Site will have a botany and geology walkway. Scarborough elaborates on other education opportunities.
“All of our classes are held outdoors. Our junior and advanced paleontology classes are available every day. Our junior paleontology classes are held at 10am, 11am, and 1:00 pm. They are for ages 4 through 12. And then our advanced paleontology is at noon. That is, for kids ages 10 and up. Both classes teach kids about paleontology techniques as well as how to dig like a paleontologist. They get to dig in a simulated bonebed. But our advanced paleontology class just goes a little bit more into depth for those older kids that are wanting a little bit more information. And then we’re also offering Atlatl Throwing Classes. And this is a class that is for people ages 10 and older. Adults are more than welcome to do it, too. It’s an ancient Ice Age hunting method, and so Ice Age peoples would have haunted with a giant spear and thrown it at their prey. So, we will be teaching people how to hunt with those spears, and they’ll get to throw at life size replicas created by our molding and casting department.”
Scarborough concludes, “We really are a one-of-a-kind facility in the United States. And even if you’ve been here before, we’re always constantly changing. We have new classes that we’re adding, new exhibits come through. They’re always finding new things in the bone bed and there’s always digging to be seen.”