Archaeologists dig for evidence of mammoth hunters near Comstock


Archaeologists are out digging at a site west of Comstock in search of evidence for mammoth hunters.

The archaeologists said the site is the most important archaeological site in central Nebraska because of its history.

The leader of the dig who is originally from Overton is back at the site he dug at in the 90's.

"We're back because we never got down to the deepest part of the deposit here," said Director of Research for the Center for American Paleolithic Research Steve Holen.

The Bureau of Reclamation originally owning the site and giving the team a grant to do the archaeological research.

"We discovered that it had multiple components buried where people used to live. Then the archaeological component would get covered up and then people would come and live again. It just kept building up and building up. We have a minimum of at least 10 cultural components here dating between six or seven hundred years old and 9,200 years old," Holen said.

On Monday, they were back digging in to find evidence of the time people hunted mammoths.

"We're hoping to find geological deposits that are over 13,000 years old that may have evidence of the oldest archaeological component in this part of the state and on this site," Holen said.

A local amateur archaeologist said they're going through a great deal of information.

"It means a lot to history for the state and everything. I mean you have 12,000 years ago to think about humans being here butchering mammoth," said Bernard Kowalski.

This time these archaeologists are getting deeper taking a sample for testing.

"It was the deepest, organic sample we found today. We made it all the way down to gravel and sand. You aren't going to find buried soils in gravels and sands. Not at the age we are looking at. We took the deepest organic matter we could find and that's what we are going to radiocarbon date. We are hoping it's 10,000 years old or even older, but we don't know that until we get the radiocarbon date," said Professor of Geography at the University of Iowa Dave May.

The soil they found Monday will be sent in for testing in hopes they can find traces back 13,000 years.

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