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An Ice Age Odyssey: The Pope Mastodon’s Epic Journey Through Life, Death, Storage Crates and Museums

In August of 1913, workmen digging a ditch on the Hill-Stead estate of A.A. Pope in Farmington uncovered the remains of a mastodon. The huge bones were excavated by a crew of scientists from the Yale Peabody Museum, where the mastodon was taken for conservation and study. Shortly thereafter it ended up in storage back in Farmington where it was largely forgotten for decades. In the late 1970s, the Institute for American Indian Studies tracked down the mastodon at Yale, arranged an extended loan, and placed it on exhibit. A decade later, the mastodon was transferred back to Yale and then the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at UConn. Ignored again for decades, the scientific significance of the remains was recently brought back to public attention when a successful radiocarbon date on a tusk fragment was conducted indicating that “Old Longtooth” passed away about 14,500 years ago. This talk summarizes the Pope Mastodon’s epic journey and his (or her) continuing importance to understanding Connecticut’s ancient environment and history.  Program is presented by Brian Jones, Connecticut State Archaeologist.

Earlier Event: June 13
Book Chat
Later Event: June 15
Waddling Ones