Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Woolly Mammoth Discussion Continues - September 4th

Even though many of you have visited the woolly mammoth panoramic exhibit at SRAC, I wanted to call attention to the landscapes where our SRAC woolly mammoth meanders to the Chemung River for a drink. A closer look will reveal pastures of grasses and small shrubs and few trees that preceded any forests that later would cover our region. This information was given to our muralist, Peter Quilles, as he began to make our exhibit murals, as was the fact that the height at the shoulders of mammoths reached between 12 - 14 feet; making the mere size of these great beasts a consideration of just what kind of landscape they could navigate through. In fact, as I talk with visitor's to the exhibit, I often still make that point.

As a result, I found it interesting that a recent study by Durham University scientists claims that dwindling green pastures, not hunting, nor comets may have killed off the mammoth. According to, "It shows that, over a huge part of the Earth's surface, there was a massive decline in the productivity and extent of grasslands due to climatic warming and the spread of forests. These habitat changes made grazing much more difficult for large mammals and dramatically reduced the amount of food available for them."

On Saturday, September 4th, from 2-3pm, Dave Kohler, past President of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology and a Regional Conservation Archeologist with Carnegie Museum will present his report of that Newton Mammoth in Asylum Township, Bradford County, PA that is represented in SRAC's woolly mammoth exhibit. The two-season excavation took place in 1983, and the Andaste Chapter of PA Archaeology volunteered hundreds of hours to make it what many claim to be the most important excavation in Pennsylvania history. Dave will share his own personal slides and share his perspectives of the two summers spent excavating the mammoth who lived approximately 14,250 years ago.

This presentation is sponsored by the Andaste Chapter of PA Archaeology and is free to attend.

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