In 1999, a backhoe operator uncovered a jumbled pile of mastodon bones in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Since that time, the Paleontological Research Institute (PRI), in conjunction with Cornell University, has been involved with a three different mastodon excavations in upstate New York. The Mastodon Matrix Project was started to give school children, home schoolers, youth groups, scout troops, senior citizens et al. from around the world the unique opportunity to help with the analysis of the dig sites.
From the Mastodon Matrix Project site:
You [will receive] a 1 Kilo bag of “matrix” from a mastodon site in Dutchess County , New York . Everything in the bag is at least 11, 000 years old. Some of the twigs, leaves and shells look very recent. They have been well preserved by being sealed in an acidic bog for 11,500 years. We have found that a kilo will keep 20 or so students busy for 2 -3 sessions at about 30 minutes each. In your bag there is likely to be a mixture of peat, which is brown, organically rich material, and marl, a gray, clay-like material containing small shells.