Julie Stein

Julie Stein

Officials work to stabilize fossilized mammoth skull found near Sequim Bay

SEQUIM — The partial remains of a Columbian mammoth skull discovered in the bluffs near Sequim Bay in early January are undergoing a stabilization process at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle.

The process to dry and stabilize the fossil could take nearly two years, Julie Stein, Burke Museum executive director, told some 30 to 40 people attending the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday.

“The key to a very effective stabilization is to let it dry very slowly,” she said.

“So you don’t put a hair dryer on it, but you actually cover it up so the evaporation happens slowly.”

On loan in Sequim?

Once stabilized, the fossil likely will be loaned to the Sequim Museum for display.

“I know people are anxious to have the loan go through,” Stein said.

“However, we don’t want to send it here and then have it fall apart and be destroyed.”

Stein estimated the stabilization process would be done by winter 2017.

It’s unknown exactly how old the fossil is, but the rocks surrounding the specimen date back between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago and represent a gravelly riverbed, Christian Sidor, Burke Museum curator of vertebrate paleontology, has said.

‘Very, very old’

“The fossil comes from an underlying glacial event that was fairly early during the Ice Age, so it is very, very old,” Stein said.

As for the age of the mammoth itself, she said, based on the number and maturity of the teeth, it was a larger, older adult.

________

Alana Linderoth 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 her at alinderoth@sequimgazette.com.

More in News

Work begins on sewer project

Intermittent closures planned in Port Hadlock

Clallam commissioners interested in section of forest for ODT

Clallam County commissioners plan to send a letter to… Continue reading

Deputy Mayor Navarra Carr accepts a Live United Award on behalf of the city of Port Angeles.
Port Angeles honored with Live United award

The city of Port Angeles was honored with a Live… Continue reading

Smoke vents from the rear car deck doors as firefighters battle a vehicle fire aboard the ferry MV Coho upon its afternoon arrival in Port Angeles on Thursday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Crews evaluated after RV fire on Coho ferry

Combined training helped during incident, deputy chief says

Staff favors denial for rezone

Proposal would pave way for Dollar General Plus

Clallam Transit considering proposal for Narcan at Gateway center

Board members want time for more discussion before next meeting

Turns restricted during roundabout construction

Drivers at the intersection of state highways 104 and 19… Continue reading

Bridge closures canceled for May 17, May 18

Hood Canal bridge closures originally scheduled for this weekend have… Continue reading

Roxanne Pfiefer-Fisher, a volunteer with a team from Walmart, sorts through sections of what will become a slide during Wednesday’s opening day of a community rebuild of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Volunteers flock to Dream Playground to start build

Group effort reminds organizers of efforts in 2021, 2002

Lawsuit over pool ban is planned

Lawyers say they’re suing city of Port Townsend, YMCA

Peninsula Behavioral Health adds 3 programs

Services help those experiencing psychosis, provide housing