New Evidence for Human Butchery of an American Mastodon from Central Ohio, USA


A growing body of archaeological data now points to the likely exploitation of American Mastodon (Mammut americanum) by late Pleistocene hunters in North America. The recent discovery of a partial mastodon skeleton at the Cedar Fork site in Morrow County, Ohio provides additional evidence in the form of at least one possibly cut marked bone. The skeletal remains are those of a large male and were disturbed post-mortem by animal scavenging and more recent geological processes including debris flows. Initial visual examination of a fragment of a mandibular condyle revealed eight wide grooves that appear to have been made by human agents. Detailed light optical and SEM examinations of the grooves indicate that at least five exhibit the characteristics of slice marks made by one or more flaked stone tools. The absence of crushed bone in the grooves suggests that none were the result of incising or chopping on dry bone but were made while the bone was relatively fresh. The recovery of two possible flaked stone tools in apparent association with the mastodon remains provides additional support for a conclusion of human butchery.

Cite this Record

New Evidence for Human Butchery of an American Mastodon from Central Ohio, USA. Brian Redmond, Nigel Brush, Haskel Greenfield, P. Nick Kardulias, Jeffrey Dilyard. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404533) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8KP83Z3

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Cut Marks Mastodon Paleoindian

Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.648; max lat: 49.136 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Brian Redmond

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Redmond-SAA-Poster-2016.pdf 1.05mb Jun 7, 2016 Jun 7, 2016 11:52:15 AM Public
Poster describing evidence for butchery of an American Mastodon from central Ohio, U.S.A.