Mammoth in the Artichokes and Paleo-Indian Developments

Mark Hylkema is the Santa Cruz District Archaeologist for California State Parks, and manages cultural resources within 32 parks in an area ranging from San Francisco to the Pajaro River. Mark also works on many other projects throughout the state and has 32 years experience in California archaeology, with an emphasis on Native American culture. In addition to State Parks, he is an adjunct professor of Anthropology at Foothill College, and has taught anthropology courses at Santa Clara University, University of California at Santa Cruz, De Anza College, Ohlone College, and Cabrillo College.

Hylkema’s talk was entitled, “Mammoth in the Artichokes and Paleo-Indian Developments.” In the spring of 2011, the remains of a Columbian Mammoth were archaeologically recovered from the artichoke fields of Castroville. In addition to the partial, but articulated remains of the mammoth, a variety of other Late Pleistocene animals were also recovered. In the hope of finding a link to Paleo Indian behavior, a research team involving many different colleges and universities was tasked to investigate. The process of learning about these animals has lead to a journey of discovery about the landscape and natural history of the Monterey Bay region at the end of the Great Ice Age. This lecture will highlight some of the many insights we have gained, and will share information about our recovery of the remains of creatures that were once top of the menu for first people – but have vanished from our world as if they had never been.

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