Woolly mammoth fossil found in Chandler 20 years ago this July

Jul 6, 2017, 6:36 AM | Updated: 11:37 am

PHOENIX — On July 3, 1997, officials in the city of Chandler, Arizona were alerted that the fossil of a woolly mammoth had been found in the Phoenix suburb.

The Chandler Museum looked back on the stunning discovery with an article Tuesday, explaining that the remains of the ice age creature were found in the walls of a newly dug sewer ditch.

(Twitter Photo/@cityofchandler) (Twitter Photo/@cityofchandler)

“City officials stopped work and called in the experts: scientists from nearby Arizona State University,” the article read. “Brad Archer, the curator of the University’s Museum of Geology confirmed the find: a woolly mammoth — and quite well preserved.”

The Phoenix area has yielded other fossil findings of mammoths, including one in 2005 in which builders in Gilbert discovered part of the spine of a mammoth.

An article from July 4, 1997 in the Arizona Republic quoted Archer as saying that other fossil sites have likely been discovered but covered up, since construction crews may not recognize the findings.

“[Archer said] the charcoal and haphazard arrangement of the mammoth bones could signify an Ice Age ‘kill site’ where man hunted mammoth for food,” the Republic said of the discovery at that time.

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Woolly mammoth fossil found in Chandler 20 years ago this July