Wenas Creek Mammoth Project

Wenas Creek Mammoth Project banner

The Wenas Creek Mammoth Project is a Central Washington University (CWU) scientific investigation of mammoth bones found on private land in the Wenas Creek Valley near Selah, Washington. The investigation is interdisciplinary, using methods from paleontology, archaeology, geography, and other fields. The goal of the project is careful scientific recovery and analysis of bones and associated artifacts, while placing the finds into context.

This site was excavated from 2005-2010. The dig was closed to allow analysis of six seasons of materials, and also because we have an ethical obligation to leave part of the site undisturbed for future work. After all, methods and technology will no doubt continue to improve as the years go by, and much more may be learned from this site in the future.

Laboratory work on site materials involved cleaning and identifying bones, looking for bone fragment refits, examining bone surfaces for toothmarks or other damage, photography, mapmaking, submission of samples for dating, genetic analysis, pollen analysis, etc.,  This work took many years, but much was completed by 2022.

Please see the links at left for additional information about the project. The 3-D virtual tour of the dig was donated by High Sierra Productions.  You can see high quality replicas of some of the bones at the CWU Museum of Culture & Environment in Dean Hall in Ellensburg.  Activities at the site and other opportunities are available from outside CWU with the Wenas Mammoth Foundation.

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Department of Anthropology and Museum Studies

Department Secretary:
357A Dean Hall
1200 Wildcat Way
(509) 963-3201

Department Chair:
338 Dean Hall
1200 Wildcat Way
(509) 963-3601
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