Mastodon Tusk Project Posters


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Document Type



Mastodons--Iowa--Franklin County; Fossils--Collection and preservation--Iowa;


The goal of this project was to study one of the rarest objects in the collection of the UNI museum dating to the Aftonian or Yarmouth age (around 120,000 to 200,000 years old).

The tusk is 11 feet, 7.5 inches with a circumference at the proximal end of 2 feet, 2 inches.

There have been previous attempts of restoration of this tusk but there are not specific procedures on record that specify the materials or methods used during the restoration attempts with sufficient detail.

With the support of the Carver Grant awarded to the UNI museum, research teams containing students from the chemistry, geology, history, art and anthropology departments will contribute to the study and preparation for the final restoration of the tusk.

The first phase of the project consists in the determination of the materials used to in the past restorations attempts. There are a variety of subprojects using different instruments and analytical techniques to achieve this goal.

For this part of the project, a chemical map of the tusk was generated using the Evex Mini SEM/EDX.

Publication Date


Faculty Advisor

Joshua A. Sebree


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa



File Format


SEM/EDX Chemical Composition Map of Mastodon Tusk

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Chemistry Commons