On a spring day in 1978, Paul Barron and Eddie Bufkin embarked on a search for arrowheads and fossils near the Bosque River. To their surprise, the men stumbled upon a large bone eroding out of a ravine. Recognizing the unusual nature of the find, they removed the bone and took it to the Strecker Museum at Baylor University for examination.
The bone was identified as Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). Museum staff members quickly organized a team of volunteers and excavation began at the site.
Between 1990 and 1997, six additional mammoths were excavated, including a large male (bull). Crews also uncovered the remains of a camel (Camelops hesternus) and the tooth of a juvenile saber-tooth cat (Smilodon fatalis), which was found next to an unidentified animal.
Approximately 68,000 years ago, rapidly rising waters from the Bosque River flooded the site. At least 19 mammoths from a nursery herd were trapped in a steep-sided channel and drowned. A camel may have also been trapped and killed during this event. Later floods buried the remains. A second event took place sometime later. During this event, an unidentified animal associated with a juvenile saber-tooth cat died and was buried. The third event involved a bull, a juvenile, and an adult female. Approximately 15,000 years after the nursery herd was trapped, these animals also appear to have been victims of rising water, unable to escape due to the slippery slopes of the surrounding channel.