Travelers offered rare chance to witness Ice Age animal archeological dig


Staff Report



Corydon visitors offered rare chance to witness Ice Age animal archeological dig

CORYDON, Indiana – Visitors to Corydon will have the one-of-a-kind opportunity to witness the action as a team of Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites staff unearths the remains of prehistoric animals. On April 6, the team of experts will embark on an archeological dig at Indiana Caverns in Corydon, just 20 miles from Louisville, KY. The excavation will last several days, depending on the amount of material discovered.

During the dig, visitors will be able to get up close in order to watch from a specially designed observation platform as the team searches for bones at the archeologically significant site Buckets. of sediment and prehistoric animal remains will be hauled to the platform from the dig area, allowing travelers to see in real-time exactly what the team discovers during the dig. Information on Indiana Caverns is found at IndianaCaverns.com, with complete area travel information and a free visitors guide available at thisisIndiana.org or (888) 738-2137.

“This groundbreaking fieldwork being conducted by Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites experts offers our guests an extraordinary opportunity to be there and watch as history is being discovered,” said Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jeremy Yackle.

In 2014, museum staff conducted a dig at Indiana Caverns, discovering five times more bones than they expected hidden in the depths and crevices of the cave for more than 40,000 years. This major discovery included skeletons of peccary, a pig-like mammal, as well as black bear; fisher, a carnivorous feline; owl and other birds; a bison; and snakes.

“Indiana Caverns contains an extensive bone yard of buried Pleistocene-era animals and will likely give rise to the discovery of new and rare Ice Age remains in the region,” said Ron Richards, senior research curator of paleobiology at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

Richards added that he is confident he and his team will recover many more peccary skeletons. The group will also be straining sediment in search of smaller animals and remains. Such findings may offer clues to the environmental conditions when these prehistoric animals perished in the cavern. The team could potentially find bones from other animals, such as dire wolves.

“Indiana Caverns is thrilled to offer this opportunity for our visitors,” said Indiana Caverns Partner Rob Houchens. “Our collaboration with Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites shows how public expertise and private resources can work together for the greater good of scientific discovery. This is a unique opportunity for our guests to watch as history is being discovered.”

About Indiana Caverns

Travelers of all ages are welcome to observe the excavation and embark on a thrilling adventure through the Binkley Cave System, Indiana’s longest cave and 8th in the country. Visitors who enter Indiana Cavern’s vast-high domed entryway are met with an awesome view. Spiraling down, guests traverse a 25-foot bridge to the balcony overlooking Big Bone Mountain. The tour includes grand panoramas of flowstone formations, stalactites, stalagmites, as guests learn the history behind this fascinating natural and historic wonder. After traveling down Blowing Hole Boulevard, travelers enjoy a relaxing boat ride along the underground river while passing majestic waterfalls. Because the caves remain temperate all year long, Indiana Caverns are open to the public year-round and are enjoyable in any season. Tours are offered 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas and last about an hour and 15 minutes. The Indiana Caverns gift shop is stocked with unique souvenirs and an onsite gem mining experience is popular with junior spelunkers.

About Corydon, IN

Beyond the thrill and excitement of the area’s fall activities, Corydon visitors enjoy much more. An incredible collection of sites and attractions awaits travelers, from a Civil War battlefield to the thrilling caves and caverns, where enormous passages are highlighted by dazzling formations. The State Historic Site marks Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first capitol, while travelers are fascinated by the Constitution Elm and tours of the Leora Brown School, one of the nation’s oldest standing early African American schoolhouses. Plenty of diverse dining and accommodations include a historic B&B, affordable modern hotels, country cafés and even a luxurious riverboat casino. Complete information and a free visitors guide are available at thisisIndiana.org or (888) 738-2137.

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Staff Report