More mammoth discoveries at quarry near Swindon
We are delighted to announce there has been some further palaeontological activity at one of our quarries near Swindon over the past few weeks, where mammoth fossils continue to be excavated.
This next phase of activity called Mammoth 2.0 has seen further exploration of the site, where in 2019 and 2021 a 200,000-year-old mammoth graveyard was found.
The recent activity has been carried out by our partner Neo Jurassica who are leading experts in this field. They are also working in conjunction with Archaeological Research Services, leading universities, museums and experts to continue this invaluable work on the next chapter of discovery.
The new palaeolithic finds at the site include the remains of steppe mammoth tusks, a pygmy mammoth tooth, several bison vertebrae, a rib and jawbone, wild horse ribs and a partially complete tooth from a cave or brown bear.
James Hogg, Director of Neo Jurassica said: “It was a true pleasure to meet Mike Hill and the team at Hills. If it wasn’t for their support and shared vision of the scientific importance of this site, this multidisciplinary systematic excavation would not have been possible.”
All this fantastic and important material is being conserved at the Yorkshire Natural History Museum in Sheffield, which will be accessible to researchers across the UK. The scope for this second phase of the investigation is vast. By amassing a large collection of mammoth bones, much can be learned about the size and social structure of their herds and how this compares to modern elephants.
It is hugely important for Hills to be involved in work like this. Quarrying is fundamental in recreating biodiverse habitats, wet woodlands and enhancing nature. Whilst this is not always seen, it highlights the scientific importance of this site and how cooperation can benefit both the quarrying and scientific industries.
Peter Andrew, Group Director, Hills Quarry Products said: “It’s a fantastic site and it just keeps on giving. We are looking forward to next year when we will welcome more teams of experts to carry out the next part of the excavation.”
As the area is not accessible and is normally underwater, the excavation involved dewatering the area using water pumps. Upon completion of the current investigation, the area was restored as a temporary lake.