New Excavations at the La Prele Mammoth Site, Converse County, Wyoming


The La Prele Mammoth site (formerly the Hinrichs or Fetterman Mammoth) was discovered and initially excavated in 1987 by a crew led by Dr. George Frison. The remains of a single juvenile Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) were recovered along with a stone tool, a possible hammerstone, and a dozen pieces of debitage. Due to landowner dispute, no further work was completed on site for 27 years. In 2014 we returned to investigate the potential for intact deposits and settle the debate about cultural use of the mammoth. The last three field seasons have resulted in clear evidence of human activity associated with the mammoth. The fortuitous discovery of a chopping tool 12 m south of the mammoth bone bed in 2014 resulted in the identification of a secondary work area, the "Chopper Block." This secondary location has produced multiple stone tools, hundreds of pieces of debitage, and artifacts never before seen in association with a mammoth in North America, including bone needles and an extensive ocher stain. The site offers the opportunity to better understand the activities which occurred at mammoth butchery sites during the Clovis time period.

Cite this Record

New Excavations at the La Prele Mammoth Site, Converse County, Wyoming. Madeline Mackie, Todd Surovell, Robert Kelly, Matthew O'Brien. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430057)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Plains

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16112