SEQUIM — The Manis Mastodon, the more than 13,000-year-old remains found in a Happy Valley farm in 1977, has been featured in a Public Broadcast Service film.
KBTC associate producer Chris Anderson on July 16 shot video and conducted interviews about the mastodon for the “Northwest Now” online program.
Anderson’s story, released last week and posted on the PBS website, touches on the discovery of the mastodon by Emanuel Manis and his wife, Clare Manis Hatler, as well as the historic implications of the find.
“I love coming out to highlight stories like this,” Anderson said.
“There are so many stories like this incredible find that deserve more attention, and it’s great to learn more about it and be able to share it with our viewers,” he added.
The discovery was especially notable because there was a piece of what turned out to be the tip of a man-made spear in a rib of the mastodon which, given the roughly 13,800-year-old radiocarbon dating of the mastodon’s remains, strongly implies that humans were in the area several hundred years before the Clovis people, which had been considered to be the first group of people to arrive in North America.
Found in 1977
Anderson interviewed Clare Manis Hatler about the mastodon. Her late husband, Emanuel “Manny” Manis, discovered mastodon tusks while digging a pond on their Sequim farm Aug. 8, 1977.
All the archaeologists from Washington State University, led by Dr. Carl Gustafson, who studied them, also have died, Hatler said.
Fortunately, she’s done so much studying of her own on the Manis Mastodon and mastodons in general since the discovery on her property — a national historic site since 1978 — that she does not lack for expert information.
“Dr. Gustafson once told me that I probably know more about mastodons at this point than any archaeologist,” Hatler said during the interview.
Some of the remains of the Manis Mastodon are on display along with a significant amount of information about the find and it’s meaning at the new Sequim Museum & Arts building at 544 N. Sequim Ave.
The rib bone with the spearhead and some other parts of the remains were recently moved to the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma for further study.
Conor Dowley is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].