Las Vegas pool set up reveals 14,000-year-old shock
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – A Las Vegas couple say that ongoing construction of the pool stalled a bit after workers uncovered a number of bones that 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 near Buffalo and Grand Teton Drives.
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They looked forward to their new six-foot-deep pool until the Las Vegas police showed up at their home on Monday.
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 explained.” 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.
“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 quipped.
“When they told us they found some fossils, it was obviously a bigger shock to us than we expected,” added Perkins.
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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,” explained Bonde.
“What we found was when they dug up the backyard pool, cut them through layers of glacial sediment, and sure enough they had a skeleton of an animal,” Perkins explained.
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 wandered around the world in southern Nevada, which was nowhere near as populated as it is today,” Bonde explained. “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.
“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,” added Bonde.
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.
Hear from 13 Action News reporter Joe Bartels about this story in the daily debrief:
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“If you are digging in your yard, it should come as no surprise if you hit something when you dig a hole in your yard,” added Bonde.
Now Matt has to make a decision about the fossils.
“Our bigger concern was that this might be something. I would love to find out what it is and save it if we can before we even substantiate it,” said Matt, who would like to see if the fossils can contribute Science and a better understanding of the history of our planet.
“I think the further we build Las Vegas, the more often we will dig this up and find things that are important to our history and what goes on here,” said Perkins.
Bonde points out that the laws in the United States are that discovered fossils belong to the owner, and in this case Matt says he will do his best to study how best to preserve the fossil.
UPDATE: Since our story aired, homeowners have said they found part of a jawbone with teeth attached.
They plan to hand over the bones to Josh Bonde with the Nevada Science Center.