FINALLY DIGGING UP THE YORKTOWN MASTODON. In 1983 a group of mastodon bones was found in a creek near Yorktown, Virginia. The owners of the property refused for 32 years to permit excavation to look for other bones of the mastodon or mastodons. Because of a fear of thieves, the site was a closely held secret for those 32 years. My niece, Molly Lazar, has now posted on Facebook that the excavation is going forward. This article in the Guardian by Jackson Landers (incorporating material from the Washington Post) has pleasing illustrations of the mastodon and how it was preserved.
Mastodons had been around for at least 27 million years, when their ancestors split off from the ancestors of mammoths and modern elements. After having been common in North America, they disappeared between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago. There is only one other site in Virginia where a group of mastodon bones has been found