Discovered in 2004 by a park worker, Persistence Cave is located in Wind Cave National Park, and has been previously kept secret to preserve its contents, reports the Black Hills Pioneer.
A team of scientists began excavating the nearly untouched cave Monday, studying sediment and animal bones brought out of the cave. Bones dating back 11,000 years have already been found and offer scientists valuable insight into how climate has changed in the Black Hills region over thousand of years. These scientists, including leader Jim Mead, a professor at East Tennessee State University, will work in conjunction with the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, to learn more about environmental change in the Black Hills.
To protect the contents of the cave, National Park Service officials will not yet disclose the exact location of the cave to the public.