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The Info List - Manis Mastodon Site



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78002736

ADDED TO NRHP March 21, 1978

The MANIS MASTODON SITE is a 2-acre (1 ha) archaeological site on the Olympic Peninsula
Olympic Peninsula
near Sequim, Washington
Sequim, Washington
, United States. During the dig, the remains of an American mastodon was recovered which had a projectile made of the bone from a different mastodon embedded in its rib. The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

HISTORY

On August 8, 1977, a farmer named Emanuel Manis was excavating his property with a backhoe , when he found the tusks of an American mastodon . After making several calls, Manis soon had an archaeological dig on his property, led by Dr. Carl Gustafson of Washington State University
Washington State University
. On the first day of digging, a rib bone was excavated, that had what appeared to be a spear point made from the bone of a different mastodon embedded in it. The "spear point" had bone growth around it, indicating that the point had not caused the mastodon's death. Because of this, Gustafson deemed the point the earliest known evidence of interaction between humans and mastodons. However, there was no consensus in the archaeological field as to whether or not this was provable, because of the lack of indisputable proof that the point was made by humans. This situation changed in 2011, when a new study of the remains definitively concluded that Gustafson was right as to both the age and the human origin of the point. Along with the point, Gustafson analyzed the position of the 6,800-kilogram (14,991 lb) fossil, which was lying on its left side, while the heavily fragmented skull was rotated 180 degrees from its natural position. Noting that this could not have occurred due to natural causes, Gustafson deduced that the carcass must have been tampered with by humans. In addition to the possible evidence of human/mastodon interaction, archaeologists were surprised to find a mastodon in the area at all, because pollen samples that were taken showed no evidence of trees, which mastodons fed on.

In an excavated layer above the mastodon, as well as that of a 6,700-year-old deposit of ash from the eruption of Mount Mazama
Mount Mazama
, a projectile-point was found in the style of Coastal Olcott points common in the area no earlier than 9,000 years ago.

The site also turned up remains of caribou, bison, and plant macrofossils. Bones of the bison showed evidence of butchering by humans. The pollen found in the same layer as the mastodon was predominantly sedge and cattail , while other layers contained that of plants ranging from Canadian buffaloberry , blackberry and wild rose , to willow and alder .

Gustafson continued to excavate at the site for eight years, finding the partial remains of two more mastodons. Though stone tools and artifacts of bone were found, Gustafson failed to find evidence of an encampment by the people theorized to have butchered the mastodons.

Prior to the excavation at the Manis site, which was dated to around 12,000 years old, archaeological sites west of the Cascade Range considered to be "early" were aged between 9,000 and 6,000 years old.

During the years of excavation, Clare and Emanuel Manis welcomed over 50,000 visitors to the site. In 1978, when the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
, Senator Henry M. Jackson
Henry M. Jackson
made the announcement. In 2002, on the 25th anniversary of the discovery, Manis' widow donated the site to the National Archaeological Conservancy . The fossil remains of the mastodon were donated to the Museum & Arts Center in Sequim and are now on display. A casting of the bone projectile point is also on display.

In Oct. 2011, CT scans and DNA tests performed at the Center of the Study of the First Americans (CSFA), Anthropology Department at Texas A -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". _National Register of Historic Places_. National Park Service. * ^ Barton 2002 , p. 50 * ^ _A_ _B_ Barton 2002 , p. 51 * ^ _A_ _B_ Tom Paulson (August 9, 2002). "Still unresolved: The puzzle of the mastodon\'s bones". _Seattle Post-Intelligencer_. Retrieved 2008-02-07. * ^ McMillan 1999 , p. 104 * ^ Sindya N. Bhanoo (October 20, 2011). "Big-Game Hunt Adds to Evidence of Early North American Settlement". _New York Times_. Retrieved 2011-10-11. * ^ Bergland 1988 , p. 21 * ^ Barton 2002 , p. 55 * ^ Bergland 1988 , p. 27 * ^ Kenneth L. Petersen; Peter J. Mehringer Jr; Carl E. Gustafson (September 1983). "Late-glacial vegetation and climate at the Manis Mastodon site, Olympic Peninsula, Washington". _Quaternary Research_. 20 (2): 215–231. doi :10.1016/0033-5894(83)90078-9 . * ^ Bergland 1988 , p. 24 * ^ Kirk 1978 , p. 28 * ^ _A_ _B_ Kirk 2007 , p. 11 * ^ Kirk 2007 , p. 10 * ^ Kirk 1978 , p. 82 * ^ Meltzer (2009) * ^ Shirley Manis, In a Scoop of Dirt - How Digging a Pond Changed North America's Prehistory, 2011.

SOURCES

* Barton, Miles (2002). _Prehistoric America: A Journey through the Ice Age and Beyond_, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-09819-7 . * Bergland, Eric O.; Marr, Jerry (1988). _Prehistoric Life on the Olympic Peninsula: The First Inhabitants of Great American Wilderness_, Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forests Association, ISBN 0-914019-19-8 . * Daugherty, Richard D. _ Manis Mastodon Site (Clallam County, Washington)_, National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. On file at the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Olympia, Washington and at the National Park Service, Washington, DC. * Gustafson, Carl E.; Gilbow, Delbert; Daugherty, Richard D. (1979). The Manis Mastodon Site: Early Man on the Olympic Peninsula, _Canadian Journal of Archaeology_, 3:157-164. * Kirk, Ruth; Daugherty, Richard D. (1978). _Exploring Washington Archaeology_, University of Washington Press, ISBN 0-295-95630-5 . * Kirk, Ruth; Daugherty, Richard D. (2007). _Archaeology in Washington_, University of Washington Press, ISBN 0-295-98696-4 . * McMillan, Alan Daniel (1999). _Since the Time of the Transformers: The Ancient Heritage of the Nuu-chah-nulth, Ditidaht, and Makah_, UBC Press, ISBN 0-7748-0701-6 . * Manis, Shirley (2011). "In a Scoop of Dirt - How Digging a Pond Changed North America's Prehistory", Manis, ISBN 978-0-9839286-0-7 . * Meltzer, David J. (2009) First Peoples in a New World : Colonizing Ice Age America. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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