Schaefer Site

In 1964, while tiling operations were being conducted on the Frank Schaefer farm in Paris Township, Kenosha County WI, the tiling machine hit a large object in Mr. Schaefer's field.  Upon examination of the debris removed from the ditch, bits of bone and tusk chips were discovered.  Local amateur archaeologist Phil Sander went to the site and hand drew a very detailed map of the exact location, which proved invaluable when Mr. Joyce secured permission and a donation agreement from Mr. Schaefer to try to locate and excavate the site.


Mr. Joyce and crew were disappointed in their first attempt using Mr. Sander's map with its highly detailed measurements when their excavation of the "X marks the spot" proved fruitless.  This confusion was cleared up promptly when Mr. Schaefer explained how after the map was drawn he had relocated the fence post that was the key reference point.  After pointing out the fence post's old location, Mr. Joyce and crew did a quick recalculation and laid out a new grid.  Digging resumed and the mammoth bones were quickly located.  This success led to a large-scale excavation of the Schaefer mammoth site.

Professional archaeologists from all over the state volunteered on the site.  No non-professional volunteers were used during the excavation of the Schaefer site in 1993 and 1994.

During the second season two chipped stone tools were located under the pelvis.  The dating of eight spruce samples associated with the bones produced the dates of 12,220 +/-80 BP to 12,790 +/-80BP.  A purified sample of mammoth bone collagen produced a dates of >12,310 +/- 60 BP, 12,320+/-50BP, 12,390+/-40BP, 12,290+/-60 and 12,440+/-40.  
It was during the excavation of the Schaefer site that the property owner Franklin Schaefer was approached by his neighbor, John Hebior.  Mr. Hebior had uncovered a large bone many years ago and turned it over to Franklin Schaefer.  Mr. Schaefer handed the bone to Joyce who in turn handed it to Overstreet.  Overstreet, with the able assistance of Dave Wasion excavated the Hebior Mammoth in 1994.  Like the Schaefer Mammoth, the Hebior Mammoth was disarticulated and possessed the cut marks and stone tools that led to the conclusion that it too was butchered by humans.  Subsequent testing of the purified mammoth bone collagen produced dates of 12,480 +/- 60 BP, 12,590 +/-50 BP, and 12,520+/-BP.  

The methodology employed in the excavation of the Schaefer and Hebior mammoth sites by professional archaeologists was exemplary, and has not been challenged.  On the contrary, the archaeological community has embraced these sites as evidenced by publications such as the November/December 1999 issue of Archaeology, and reference to these sites in the new book, Bones, Boats and Bison by E. James Dixon.  

Further evidence of the acceptance of the Schaefer and Hebior sites as confirmed pre-Clovis came from many speakers at the Clovis and Beyond Conference held in Santa Fe, New Mexico in October 1999.

Click on the image to enlarge

 These photos show the plot of how the bones were originally found.


Anne Parker holding a 25# Woolly Mammoth molar excavated from the Schaefer site.



The personnel for the Schaefer Mammoth excavation were:

1) Project Director Dan Joyce,

2) Archaeologist Dave Overstreet,

3) Field Director, Ruth Blazina-Joyce, and

4) Crew Chief Dave Wasion


2000 - 2004 Butterbrodt/Joyce



All information and photographs copyrighted - illegal to copy without permission.