(CBS Seattle/AP) — A woolly mammoth tusk was unearthed at a construction site in South Lake Union Tuesday.

The fossil was discovered about 30 feet underground by construction workers near Mercer St. and Pontius Ave., according to KIRO TV. Paleontologists with the Burke Museum said they are confident the fossil is from an ice age mammoth.

Staff at the Burke Museum said they are happy to excavate the fossil, but it was found on private property so that decision will be up to the landowner. Workers with Transit Plumbing were digging at the site when they hit something hard and uncovered the tusk.

“The discovery of a mammoth tusk in South Lake Union is a rare opportunity to directly study Seattle’s ancient natural history,” Christian Sidor, one of the museum’s curators told KIRO. The museum says it hopes to carbon date the fossil in order to learn more.

The Columbian mammoth is the state fossil of Washington; although it’s very rare, similar tusks and mammoth teeth have been found here.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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