Paleontology – Archaeology Field Experience

People with an interest in paleontology and archaeology will have an opportunity to try both field and laboratory work in August!  The planned site is at Mammoth Park, where the excavation of a 11,000 year old extinct giant bison (Bison antiquus) will continue.  The partial remains of other extinct giant animals (megafauna) may also be excavated.  As we work down to the depths of these extinct animals, we may locate and document evidence of a past human presence, in the form of stone flakes that were produced during the times that these ancient creatures lived in the Valley, and naturally shed human hair from the same time period.  This class always fills quickly, so if you are interested, please contact Gary Palmer, at PCC, to be added to the list. This is a different part of the same site we tested last summer, and some photos are posted on this website.

If the flood deposits from winter prevent our accessing this site, then we will work at Mammoth Park, in Woodburn.  This is the site of an extinct giant bison (Bison antiquus), as well as approximately a dozen other species of now extinct Ice Age animals.  

In past years, we have been able to participate in McMinnville projects. These opportunities are due to a partnership between researchers and volunteers from the Yamhill River Pleistocene Project and those of the Mammoth Park Project.  Instruction is provided by professionals from the Institute for Archaeological Studies, with assistance from members of the OMSI paleontology laboratory, and other visiting professionals from the University of Oregon.

These field experiences are open to both adults and students (over 18 years of age), through the Continuing Education program at Portland Community College.  A classroom session, discussing the peopling of the Americas and excavation protocols,  will precede field work.
This opportunity is thanks to partnerships between the professionals and volunteers of the Yamhill river Pleistocene Project, Mammoth Park, and the Institute for Archaeological Studies. (Be sure to look at the Yamhill River Pleistocene Project website!)

Participants will learn field and laboratory methods, and will be invited to participate in all aspects of fieldwork, from recording the items they have excavated to screening of both dry and wet sediments.