Released May 2, 2019

Seymour mastodon bones accepted into Indiana State Museum collection

INDIANAPOLIS (May 2, 2019) – In early April, bones belonging to a mastodon dubbed “Alfred” were found during work on a sewer project at a farm in Seymour, Indiana.

Now, those bones – including two limb bones, as well as parts of a skull and tusk – will be processed and join the permanent collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

“Ice Age paleontology is a center of excellence for the museum,” said Susannah Koerber, chief curator and research officer for the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. “We are grateful that the family chose to donate the bones and for their continued interest in research around the find.”

The Indiana State Museum has more mastodons and mammoths from different localities than any other museum in the Midwest. It’s somewhat unusual to find bones of this quality in southern Indiana because of the nature of the soil in that region, and this specimen could provide important information to the continued study of Ice Age Indiana.

The bones arrived at the museum on April 29. Over the course of the next year, they will go through various processes for research and preservation purposes. Much information will be gleaned throughout that time, and a sample has already been sent out to establish an accurate date.

At this time, it’s estimated that the mastodon died between 10,000 and 13,000 years ago and stood about 9 to 9 ½ feet tall.

As part of the museum’s collection, the bones will continue to be analyzed as part of the research program and will be available for future exhibition.

Currently, visitors can learn about and see a variety of Ice Age skeletons – including Fred, one of the most complete mastodons unearthed in Indiana – in the museum’s Frozen Reign experience.

FOR MEDIA: Photos of the bones can be downloaded here: 

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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture, offering a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials and sculpture. Easy and convenient parking is available in the attached underground garage.