Mammoth Remains Discovered In Caddo County

Wednesday, February 1st 2012, 6:45 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma farmer made a huge, historic find on his land recently.

Rudy Tartsah was walking on his property in Carnegie in Caddo County when he stumbled on the remains of a mammoth.

Archeologist Lee Bement from The University of Oklahoma says the remains are mammoth bones and are approximately 11,000 to 20,000 years old.

Tartsah says this land has been in his family for years and he often comes out to look for arrowheads and pieces of his own history.

"Now as we go through looking for arrow heads and I find one down here by the water with my brother," Rudy said.

Tartsah is a Kiowa Indian and his family has been coming out to the more than 400 acres in Caddo County to farm and hunt.

About a month ago, Rudy and his brother found something else down by the water, holding on to it, not sure what it was.

"Just right, just right, just right straight down," Rudy pointed our cameras straight down a red dirt bank to a slab of mud where he made the discovery. "Kind of pulled away and said hey what the hey?"

"I thought it was a rock, until I saw all those teeth in it," he said.

Archeologists at OU say it's a piece of the jaw from a woolly mammoth. The Tartsah brothers also discovered a tool that may have been used to dress the beasts after a big hunt.

"It was wider.  You could see those extra layers of teeth and realized it's a jaw."

Researchers say the young mammoth likely died right here in this valley.  Tartsah says it's taught him to never stop exploring or believing in history here in Oklahoma.

"It's amazing to me to discover something like that, you know? To see something like that."

"Never know what's underneath you could be a whole woolly mammoth.  You could have the momma under you," he said joking with us Wednesday.

Bement says his department gets requests to look at remains every year. A team from OU says these remains aren't nearly as old as some they've found in the past. They've found some mammoth remains up to 100 thousand years old.