Staff Pick-Exhibit of the Month

 April 2015 Staff Pick for Exhibit of the Month

Bite marks on a Camel Skull

Camel-3

The extinct camel Camelops hesternus was widespread in California during the Ice Age, and several were found during the construction of Diamond Valley Lake. The Camelops skull on display at the Western Science Center has four punctures on the top of the head. These are apparently bite marks caused when a large animal such as a lion, bear, or wolf bit the camel on the top of the head. The bite marks show no sign of healing, so the bite probably happened after the camel died.

 

 

March 2015 Staff Pick for Exhibit of the Month

Crescent Stone Tool

 

crecent

Crescents are a unique and highly debated prehistoric stone tool. Archaeologists have suggested everything from magical amulets to knives to surgical tools as possible explanations for how the crescent was used. One of the most common theories is that these uniquely crafted artifacts served as a prehistoric multi-tool that was useful in many different aspects of daily life.

Careful study has revealed wear patterns along the concave base of crescents that would indicate the tool was hafted onto a wooden shaft and used in repetitive sawing, scrapping, and rocking motions. Microscopic evaluation also reveals evidence that these tools were resharpened and repolished regularly.

Eccentric crescents, like those exhibited here at the Western Science Center, are a California specialty. This shape and style of design is almost exclusive to our state, and are specifically abundant in Southern California. Crescent tools are an example of some of the oldest stone tools in the region and date to between 8,000 – 4,000 B.C.E.

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