Last August, Wayne State Ph.D. student Ryan Shell set out to use radiocarbon dating and pollen analysis to determine the age of fossils he discovered in the caves of public city parks around Dayton, Ohio.
He documented his process in lab notes posted of the various raccoon, snake, and bobcat bones he found. In his final results, Ryan reported that of the original 12 cave sites he visited, only 4 were of any significant age. Among them, he found snake, wolf, bobcat, snowshoe hare remains dating back to the Pleistocene. Two sites have confirmed human presence: one with a partial human skeleton around 1,450 years old, and one with stone tool fragments.