Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

Mammoth Tusk Safe and Sound at Burke Museum

mammoth-tusk-on-display-burke-museumJust about a month ago I wrote about a mammoth tusk discovered underground in South Lake Union. If you followed the story, you know that the Burke Museum was able to dig it up and take it to be preserved. It was put on display March 8th as part of “Dino Day,” and the Burke blog has recently posted about the tusk’s journey out of hiding. In the effort to remove the tusk from the ground safely, Burke paleontologists had to cover the tusk in aluminum foil, add layers of burlap strips soaked in water and dipped in plaster, and place 2 by 4’s alongside the tusk. According to the blog, the tusk was covered in more layers of plaster on Tuesday after two core samples were removed and sent away for carbon dating, which can tell us just how old the tusk actually is. Continue reading

Mammoth Tusk Uncovered in South Lake Union

mammothIt’s always interesting when the urban present that we’ve grown accustomed to collides with a piece of the natural past. Such an event has recently occurred in South Lake Union, when builders unearthed a mammoth tusk that has been under the land for an estimated 16-22 thousand years. Finds like these are reminders that our concrete world was once made up of grassland, and animals such as mammoths roamed through what we now call streets. Before and during the ice ages in which the mammoth lived, Elliot Bay and the Puget Sound didn’t exist. There was just wide open plain, all the way to the ocean. It’s a rather spectacular image, to picture a mammoth strolling down the sidewalks of Seattle. And it’s fun to think that it was actually happening one day, just with less Starbucks’ around. Continue reading