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WEEKLY HIGHLIGHT

11/06/09

Peale's Barber Farm Mastodon Exhumation Site, Orange County, New York

PhotoThe Peale's Barber Farm Mastodon Exhumation Site is largely defined by a small, spring-fed pond---the flooded remains of the August 1801 excavation site, a marl bog-- which is ringed with natural growth. The exhumation and subsequent reconstruction of mastodon skeletal remains from this and two other Orange County, New York sites, an endeavor conducted in the summer of 1801 under the direction of the noted artist and scientist, Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), garnered considerable attention on the national--and international--stage. This effort provided for the creation of the world's first fully articulated prehistoric skeleton, a mastodon, and offered scientists a model of this extinct mammal for comparative analysis with other species. Today the one remaining mastodon skeleton first assembled is exhibited at the Hessisches Landemuseum in Darmstadt, Germany.

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