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Indiana Caverns News

Ice Age Bones to Be Uncovered by Indiana State Museum

Indiana Caverns to host a public viewing of dig Oct. 2-4
Indiana State Museum researchers to excavate Ice Age bones in southern Indiana cave

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Paleontologists at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites will conduct a public excavation of Ice Age bones on October 2, 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Indiana Caverns. The site is Indiana’s newest show cave near Corydon, Ind., and a part of the Binkley Cave system, Indiana’s longest cave and 8th longest in the country.

This three-day public excavation will allow the general public to watch paleontologists unearth bones buried in the cave for up to 40,000 years. The screening process used to find bones and bone fragments will also be on display in the cave.

Indiana Caverns staff will join in the excavation, led by the museum’s senior curator of paleobiology, Ron Richards, along with other members of the museum’s research team.

Richards assessed ancient bones discovered at the site in 2012 and determined that the cave is one of the largest and best-preserved deposits of Ice Age bones yet discovered in Indiana. “There are probably a dozen or more big cave finds like this in North America and Indiana Caverns bone deposits have tremendous value in the interpretation of the Ice Age in Indiana,” Richards added.

The original assessment included only bones preserved on the surface of the cave floor including flat-headed peccary, bison, black bear, fisher, porcupine, and even passenger pigeon, as well as owls and snakes.

The Indiana State Museum has the largest collection and most extensive exhibits concerning the Ice Age in Indiana. Ice Age paleontology is an institutionally proclaimed area of excellence and research.

Indiana Caverns CEO Gary Roberson welcomes the opportunity for visitors of all ages to observe the excavation and research project while they witness ancient remains brought to light after being hidden for thousands of years.

According to Roberson, the cave has been forming for close to a million years, while the Ice Age bones may date from 10,000 to 50,000 years ago.

For more information on the project and how to attend, please visit IndianaCaverns.com or call the site at 812.734.1200.

Indiana Caverns is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $19 for adults and $10 for children ages 4-12. Tickets may be purchased at the Indiana Caverns Visitor Center.

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The Indiana State Museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art, and culture, offering a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials, and sculpture.

Indiana Caverns is part of a vast system stretching over 41 miles under the sinkhole plain in southern Indiana. The tour includes walking portions, waterfalls, a boat ride as well as ice age bones. The facility includes a visitor center with interpretive exhibits, karst trail, and gemstone mining, just outside historic Corydon and less than 30 minutes from Louisville KY.

For more information, contact us.