For the past 17,000 years, an Ice Age mammoth, nicknamed “Benny,” has been hiding six feet below ground nestled between Rackham Court and Gehner, two Principia College campus dormitories. Benny’s presence was detected in 1999 when a backhoe uncovered one of his teeth.
Now this location, once the site of many Easties’ mud fights, has been transformed into a modern paleontological dig. In the spring of 2002, a geology class of 13 students uncovered two tusks and two molars.
Work continued by students and staff through the summer, and additional bone material was encountered. This appears to be one of the most significant mammoth finds in Illinois.
Read on for the latest on our progress and to learn about our mammoth and his habitat – find out what life was like at Principia during the Ice Age!