The Kyle Mammoth Project: An Archaeological, Paleoecological and Taphonomic Analysis
Stoffel, Eliann W 1990-
In 1964 the remains of a Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was unearthed near the small farming community of Kyle, Saskatchewan. The salvage excavation that was conducted by the Natural History Museum of Saskatchewan (now the Royal Saskatchewan Museum) uncovered roughly twenty percent of a single animal which was determined to have died of natural causes twelve thousand years ago. No further analysis was ever conducted on the remains until now. The combination of a radiocarbon date that was obtained in 1964 that concluded a time frame congruent with Clovis occupation in North America and known Clovis occupation within the area surrounding Kyle prompted a more thorough taphonomic analysis to be conducted on the remains. The objective for the analysis was to use the identification of postmortem taphonomic markers such as intentional bone breakage patterns and cutmarks as a proxy for human intervention with the Kyle mammoth. An additional antemortem analysis was included to account for a healed lesion that was discovered on a thoracic vertebra. The cause of the lesion, although not concluded, raises questions as to human association with this particular mammoth as well as a pathological aspect relating to a well-documented phenomenon that occurred in Eurasian Woolly Mammoths. The addition of an osteological analysis sheds light on the species, sex, and age at death of the animal and an archaeological and paleocological background supplements the notion of human and proboscidean interactions by shedding light on the environment surrounding the area of Kyle roughly 12,000 years ago and the possibility of the two species coexisting in southwestern Saskatchewan.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
DepartmentArchaeology and Anthropology
CommitteeAitken, Alec; Kennedy, Margaret; Ansdell, Kevin; Stuart, Glenn
Copyright DateJuly 2016