Sunday, March 25, 2012

Firelands Ground Sloth

One of our other recent projects in Archaeology at the CMNH is the study of the Firelands Ground Sloth.  This project involved the documentation of 41 stone tool cut marks found on the femur (thigh bone) of an extinct Ice Age animal called the Jefferson's Ground Sloth (Megalonyx jeffersonii).  Ten bones of this creature were found several years ago in the attic of the Firelands Historical Society Museum in Norwalk, Ohio by Matt Burr.  Matt showed me the bones five years ago, and since then, we have been examining the traces of stone cutting tools used to butcher the animal.  The bones have been dated to more than 13,000 years old and represent the first evidence for the use of this particular Ice Age animal by ancient humans in Ohio.   The results of our work were recently published in the journal World Archaeology (vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 75–101).   Images of the femur and other illustrations can be seen on the CMNH website.  A nicely done story on the project was produced by WKSU radio.

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