Florida Hall of Fossils

The stellar focal point of the Pleistocene segment of this exciting new Powell Hall exhibit will be a 14-foot tall mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) skeleton. Articulation of this skeleton gleaned from the Aucilla River will provide drama and excitement to our story of Florida's first peoples who came from Asia with mammoth-hunting traditions. A fullscale diorama will encircle the skeleton depicting the hunt. The planned scenario includes a woman sitting at a campfire softening mammoth hide with a beamer made of a mammoth radius bone. The radius and other bone, stone and ivory tools are visible in a case nearby. Samples of early geometric art on ivory, as well as photographs of Eurasian paleolithic artwork will be displayed. A video of underwater recovery techniques used for the mammoth and Paleoindian discoveries made in connection with the Aucilla River Prehistory Project will be available for viewing. Pollen and plant records, mastodon stomach contents, gourd seeds, worked wooden stakes and charcoal evidence of human fire activity will help to tell our story of this age. An electronic map will designate major Paleoindian sites in Florida, all of which are now underwater because sea level has risen so dramatically in the last 12,000 years. In order to exit from the hall, visitors will pass under a long tusk arch, set on stacks of mammoth mandibles.