New Proof Of Earliest People Of Montana Found In M.O.R. Fossil - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

New Proof Of Earliest People Of Montana Found In M.O.R. Fossil

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BOZEMAN -

New evidence that people were living in what is now Montana nearly 1000 years earlier than previously believed is found in a Museum Of The Rockies exhibit.

Radiocarbon dating on the fossilized remains of a Columbian mammoth on exhibit at the Museum Of The Rockies proves humans lived in what is now the Treasure State nearly 1000 years earlier than previously thought.

Pat Roath is the registrar and collections manager at the museum.

She says this process started in 2010 when Catherine Kozminski started looking at cut marks on mammoth bones.

"One of the mammoths she looked at was our Lindsay mammoth here at the Museum Of The Rockies and she discovered cut marks that her research showed were made by stone tools that could've only been made by humans," said Roath.

That's when the museum sent the bones to get carbon dated, and the results came in last month.

Those results say the Lindsay mammoth died more than 12,000 years ago.

"In combination with those human made cut marks, if that is indeed what they were, tells us there were humans in this region 1000 years earlier than we determined before that," said Roath.

Some people aren't surprised by the findings.

Jack Horner is a paleontologist for M.O.R.

He says elephants, particularly mammoths, are common in Montana.

 "Mammoth elephants lived here from several thousand years ago until they went extinct," said Horner.

Horner says the new finding is still neat.

"It certainly is exciting yes," said Horner.

The Lindsay mammoth was dug up in 1967.

You can see the jaw and part of one tusk of the Lindsay mammoth on display at the Museum of The Rockies.

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