During the installation of the pool in Las Vegas, bones that date back to the Ice Age are discovered

LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas couple say that ongoing construction of the pool stalled a bit after workers uncovered a number of bones in what turned out to be a rare find.

It is believed that the bones are up to 14,000 years old and date from Earth’s most recent Ice Age.

Matt Perkins and his husband recently moved from Washington state to a newly built house in north Las Vegas.

They looked forward to their new six-foot-deep pool until the Las Vegas police showed up at their home on Monday.

Rudy Garcia, photojournalist, KTNV

A series of fossils buried about 4 to 5 feet in the back yard of a house in Las Vegas near Buffalo and Grand Teton Drives

During the excavation process, the pool builders excavated a number of bones that were approximately four to five feet below the ground.

“We woke up Monday morning [and] The pool guy said he would come to check the pool, “Perkins said.” We assume that was normal, we wake up, he’s in front of the police. “

Police and crime scene investigators found the bones did not belong to any human and the remains were of no law enforcement concern.

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Rudy Garcia, photojournalist, KTNV

A series of fossils buried about 4 to 5 feet in the back yard of a house in Las Vegas near Buffalo and Grand Teton Drives

“We joked on Friday that as they started digging,” Oh great, they might find a dinosaur for us and it’ll pay off for our pool, “Perkins said.” When they told us they found some fossils it was of course more of a shock to us than we expected. “

Joshua Bonde, the Nevada Science Center’s director of research, visited the backyard Tuesday to inspect the discovery.

“It’s somewhere between 6,000 and 14,000 years old,” said Bonde.

“What we found was when they dug up the backyard pool, cut through layers of Ice Age sediment, and actually had a skeleton of an animal,” Perkins said.

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Joshua Bonde, director of research at the Nevada Science Center.

A number of buried bones were discovered in the back yard of a house near Buffalo and Grand Teton Drives, believed to be up to 14,000 years old.

Bonde says the large bones could belong to a horse or a similarly sized mammal.

“So this thing is about four to five feet below the current soil surface, so the animal probably migrated around the world in southern Nevada, which was nowhere near as populated as it is today,” Bonde said. “There were probably still people in the area and it was probably a bit swampy.”

The area was fed by natural springs and served as a watering hole for wildlife in the arid Mohave Desert about 14,000 years ago.

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Joe Bartels, reporter, KTNV

This is a photo of a series of fossils buried about 4 to 5 feet in the back yard of a house in Las Vegas near Buffalo and Grand Teton Drives

“This animal appears to be surrounded by partially compacted vegetation, so it likely died on the edge of a spring and likely fell into the spring to be preserved, or some other mechanism buried it very quickly,” Bonde said.

The discovery of the backyard bone is not far from the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, where rare fossils such as mammoths were discovered.

“If you’re digging in your yard, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you hit something,” said Bonde.

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Joe Bartels, reporter, KTNV

This is a photo of a series of fossils buried about 4 to 5 feet in the back yard of a house in Las Vegas near Buffalo and Grand Teton Drives

Now Perkins has a decision to make regarding the fossils.

“Our bigger concern was that this might be something,” said Perkins. “I’d like to find out what it is and save it if we can before we get it concrete.”

Perkins added that he would like to see if the fossils can add to science and better understand the history of our planet.

“I think the further we build Las Vegas, the more likely it is that we will dig this up and find things that are important to our history and what goes on here,” he said.

Bonde points out that the United States has laws so that discovered fossils belong to the owner, and in which case Perkins will do his best to study how best to preserve the fossil.

This story was originally published by Joe Bartels on Scripps Station KTNV in Las Vegas.

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