Museum Finds Record Number of Fossils at Ice Age Site

Crews from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science are working with increased efficiency and setting new records for the number of fossils uncovered each day. The total bone count has reached 3,253 with an average of 247 fossils found per day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week. With just over two weeks remaining in the seven-week dig at Ziegler Reservoir, the team is preparing for the arrival of 27 scientists to study the findings. Additionally, the Museum is offering free activities in Snowmass Village this weekend to highlight this incredible Ice Age discovery.

This weekend marks the arrival of many of the 37 scientific experts from 15 institutions in the United States, Canada, Spain, and England who will visit the site and study the discoveries. The age of the site is of particular interest to scientists. Initial radiocarbon dating indicates that the Ziegler Reservoir site is more than 45,000 years old, and geologists estimate the site could be as old as 130,000 to 150,000 years. Discovery of such a unique Ice Age site will provide scientists with an opportunity to learn about the Ice Age history of the Rocky Mountains.

"So far we've been focused on the salvage of fossils, and now our team of scientists is arriving to collect data for all sorts of scientific analysis, which will take months and even years to complete," said Dr. Kirk Johnson, the leader of the excavation team and vice president of the Research and Collections Division at the Museum. "With 27 scientists we will have a huge Ice Age brain trust on the site."

The Museum and Snowmass Tourism are hosting an Ice Age Spectacular this weekend in Snowmass Village. Participants will see real fossils discovered less than a mile away; watch live broadcasts of Museum scientists at the dig site; play Ice Age games, puzzles and crafts; meet Snowy the mascot; and enjoy activities for the whole family. This free event will be held at the Silvertree Conference Center on Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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