Welcome to the internet home of the Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site.

The Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site is the keystone of the MCBONES Research Center Foundation.

Here is the story so far . . .

Mammoths on ridge

Columbian Mammoths roamed eastern Washington throughout the Pleistocene Epoch (the last Ice Age). The painting to the left, by local artist Rick Fesser, illustrates what the landscape may have looked like when mammoths roamed the land of Badger Mountain (Rattlesnake Mountain is in the background).

Cataclysmic Ice Age floods (such as those released from Glacial Lake Missoula) poured across Eastern Washington, sweeping many mammoths and other creatures to their deaths. Their carcasses, along with other floating debris, were carried downstream into temporary lakes and back waters. This painting by renowned Ice Age Floods artist Stev Ominski, with about the same perspective as Rick Fesser’s painting, illustrates what the shoreline of temporary Lake Lewis may have looked like if a modern geologist were to go back in time.

Washed up mammoth
Mammoth bone in dirt

In 1999, a few mammoth remains were discovered and collected south of Kennewick, Washington. The site was left dormant until it was rediscovered in 2008. At that time, it was also established that the Columbian Mammoth bones (the official fossil of Washington State) at this location are located in Ice Age Flood deposits.

Upon rediscovery, an opportunity for collaborative work within several science disciplines presented itself.

Mammoth site dig
Mammoth bone in dirt

Formal excavation of the site began in September, 2010.

Ongoing excavation provides an opportunity for students, teachers, scientists, and community volunteers to collaborate among several scientific disciplines.

By the end of the 2014 dig season, we had collected nearly 500 samples, including 74 mammoth bones or bone fragments, with several large bones (e.g. humerus) still in place.

Excavation of the site continues each year during two weekends per month from March through October.

Mammoth site dig

There’s much more work to be done . . .

Join us today!


Check back for updates . . .