Geologists return to where a more than 2,000-year-old bison bone - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Geologists return to where a more than 2,000-year-old bison bone was discovered

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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. -- Geologists went back out to the spot where a more than 2,000-year-old bison bone was discovered earlier this year in hopes of finding more bones.

Joe Devera, a Geologist with the Illinois State Geological Survey, plans the hike, "The tan color that's up here and along the ridges here up here, in the highs, is where the bone had to actually come from, eroding down into the creek."

Oliver Stoffel the seven year old who found the bison bone led the expedition with high expectations, "Raccoon bones, cow bones, arrowhead, I want an arrowhead and I would like the rest of the bison."

Meanwhile, Devera explains, "Because it's eroding out we won't probably find the whole animal it's probably disarticulated and miscellaneous bones may be found."

After about a fifteen minute trek along the ridge and down into the creek, Oliver pointed out the spot where the bison bone was originally found, "Well, I found the bone here, it was just leaning against the stick. I didn't dig it or anything all I did was it was just laying there which was very rare."

After a bit of searching unfortunately no other bones were located.

Devera says, "Sometimes it takes hours, you can't just go up there and go hey we found the skull, no that ain't going to happen. I've done this way too many times."

New bone material may not have been found but the hike still turned out to be very informational.

Mark Stoffel, Oliver's father, says, "I guess what we learned today is that the bone was washed here from many many maybe hundreds of miles away but it doesn't matter it's just interesting, the bone took a journey I guess."

Devera hasn't given up hope and plans to go back out to the property in the future for a more detailed search.

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