America – Land of the Mammoth

Americans tend not to “feel” that their continent rests on a foundation much older than the Civil War, or perhaps the Revolutionary War if you live on the East Coast.

But, not only are we surrounded by evidence of the cultures and civilizations that preceded European colonization, but even before them our land was the stomping ground of that quintessential beast from the Ice Age, the mammoth.

When most of us think of mammoths, we think of the vast Palearctic plain stretching from the last refuge of the Neanderthals in Europe to the frozen wastes of Siberia where mammoths still occasionally emerge from the permafrost.

But, Texas?

Well, on Saturday, Baylor University and the city of Waco opened for public viewing a 68,000 year old site where dozens of mammoths were killed by a landslide.  Yes, Billy Bob, we live in an ancient land with traces of the dark bowels of the unlettered past lurking in the dust below our feet.

And, no… there are no indications that they made mammoths bigger in Texas.  Yippy-ki-yi-nay.

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