MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

September 8, 2013

Bone discovery spurs plan for archaeological dig in Lawton


Associated Press

— LAWTON (AP) — The discovery of the partial remains of the ancient forefather of the modern buffalo has prompted museum officials to plan an archaeological dig in a Lawton park.

A leg bone of Bison antiquus was discovered by boys playing in Elmer Thomas Park. And The Lawton Constitution reported that the staff at the Museum of the Great Plains is preparing an archaeological dig in the park.

Three experts, including the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey, say the bone belongs to a longtime prairie resident, remains that are 8,000 to 10,000 years old.

Debra Baker, the museum’s archaeologist, says evolution forced Bison antiquus to make way for today’s bison. But they still existed within human history, which means the site will be investigated for both animal remains and evidence of human habitation.

Museum Director John Hernandez said he expects that whatever is found at the dig site will become part of his museum’s collection.

“It needs to be here,” Hernandez said.