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Mammoth site National Monument bid passes House

Sept. 24, 2009

This summer brought welcome news to the Waco Mammoth Site as its bid to become a National Monument passed its first hurdle, clearing the House. At some point the upcoming months, the Senate will weigh in and if it clears the Senate, President Obama's signature would make it official. Dr. Ellie Caston is the director of the Mayborn Museum. She, along with a dedicated group of Waco citizens, city officials, and Baylor University personnell have spent years collaborating to make the dream a reality. Initial meetings with the National Park Service were positive, and the further into the process they got, the more distinct the possibilities became.

Caston said that the site is more than a mammoth burial ground. It tells a unique story and contains far more than normal sites. It's not just a mammoth, or even a few. It's a whole herd that found itself trapped in a tragic situation.

That "death event" is the mystery behind the mammoth site. Speculation points to a flash flood, or perhaps a mudslide. Whatever the cause, a sudden event trapped a herd, adults and children. For those someday visiting the site, it's a story that can spur the imagination.

The find of a whole herd also leaves clues to scientists about the behavior of the extinct creature.

It was a tragic situation for the mammoth that could prove to be a major benefit to history lovers, educators, and the area economy. On Monday, we'll look at the steps taken locally to showcase this unique story to visitors here in the near future, even as those involved wait for the day that they hope the Senate gives Waco it's own national monument for the future. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.

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