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“It needs to be to make sure you’re not ruining anything,” Rowland added.“Getting it out of the ground is only the first step.” Radiocarbon dating and other laboratory tests — including CT scans of the tusks — should tell them more about the animal, such as how long it lived and possibly how it died.Based on the testing so far, the bones appear to date back about 20,000 years to what scientists call the “last glacial maximum,” when the climate in Southern Nevada was wetter and colder than at any point during the past 100,000 years.“This would have been just a huge, huge marshy area that was very, very wet,” Rowland said, motioning to the dry, scrub-covered desert surrounding the dig site.All the fossils collected will go to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum for study, preservation and display.“Scientific excavation is a slow process,” said Mark Boatwright, an archaeologist for the BLM in Las Vegas, during a visit to the site Friday.

(Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto Current and former UNLV students, from left, Dawn Reynoso, Fabian Hardy and Ann Marie Jones work on excavating the bones and tusks of an approximately 20,000-year-old Columbian Mammoth in Amargosa Valley on Friday, March 31, 2017.“Any time you find them I think it’s rare — and a treasure,” he said.What makes this discovery unique is the position in which the mammoth was found. Its head went straight down into the ground and its skeleton was preserved that way somehow,” Rowland said.The work is now being done by a small team of Rowland’s current and former students, who come out on weekends twice a month or so.MUSEUM BOUND So far, they have uncovered portions of two large tusks, two shoulder blades, some vertebrae and miscellaneous bone fragments.

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