Scientists search for Ice Age remains in Harrison Co.
HARRISON COUNTY, IN (WAVE) – Researchers were busy deep below the ground at the Indiana Caverns over the weekend.
Buckets traversed the rugged terrain, pulled by a rope up wooden rails with delicate cargo inside.
"All of the buckets from the dig area, they come up here," Ron Richards, an Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites researcher, said. "They dump the soil and the bone onto the screen."
Before that soil gets a quick spray to separate it from other materials, it comes from a part of the cave the handful of scientists call Big Bone Mountain.
There, the group is searching for the remains of a 40-thousand-year-old pig-like animal from the Ice Age called a Peccary; and they're finding them.
"This is part of the skull," Richards said, explaining the find. "It's a snout. Its teeth are facing down."
Researchers said it's even possible animals, like dire wolves or saber tooth tigers, fell from a ledge to the same fate in of the Peccary at the site in Harrison County.
As they make new discoveries, the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites group has a difficult job ahead of them.
"We'll have to work hard to keep intact, but we will do that," Richards said.
It's a mission they said could shine a light on solutions to some of the issues facing the planet now.
"The more you know about your environment, the more you can understand the basic ideas of taking care of that environment," Richards said.
So, scientists will spend the next few days underground caked in mud to better understand the world above.
Researchers add this isn't the first time they've held a dig at the Indiana Caverns. Several years ago, they looked for bones at a site nearby the one they were at Saturday.
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