In December 2010, the skeletal remains of a Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) were found in the artichoke fields on a family farm in Castroville. An extensive team composed of faculty and students from Foothill College, UC Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, UCLA, DeAnza College, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Penn State, and Santa Clara University was invited to investigate, excavate, and analyze this find. Directed by archaeologist Mark Hylkema, after nearly two excavation seasons the team has retrieved around 40 percent of the mammoth— a male in his late twenties or early thirties. Among other remarkable finds, the team has recovered the first known hair from a Columbian Mammoth—and is currently attempting to isolate DNA from the hair and bone of this specimen, which would be the firstever DNA recovery from a Columbian Mammoth. In this talk, Timothy King will address the methods and goals of this project, and will also review recent developments at the site such as the other Ice Age animals discovered there.
Anthropologist; Epigrapher; Co-director, Castroville Mammoth Project Timothy King received a PhD in anthropological sciences from Stanford. His regional focus is ancient Mesoamerica, in particular the ancient and modern Maya and the ancient metropolis of Teotihuacán in central Mexico. He also specializes in epigraphy (writing systems) and archaeoastronomy (astronomy of ancient societies). King teaches at UC Berkeley.
Free and open to public.