Manis Mastodon Site

The Manis Mastodon site is a 2-acre (1 ha) archaeological site on the Olympic Peninsula near Sequim, Washington, United States. During the dig, the remains of an American mastodon was recovered which had a 13,800 year old projectile[2] made of the bone from a different mastodon embedded in its rib. The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Manis Mastodon Site
Manis Mastodon2 NRHP 78002736 Clallam County, WA
Manis Mastodon Site is located in Washington (state)
Manis Mastodon Site
Nearest citySequim, Washington
NRHP reference #78002736 [1]
Added to NRHPMarch 21, 1978


On August 8, 1977, a farmer named Emanuel Manis was digging his property with a backhoe when he found the tusks of an American mastodon.[3] An archaeological excavation led by Dr. Carl Gustafson of Washington State University found a rib bone that had what appeared to be a spear point made from the bone of a different mastodon embedded in it. The point had bone growth around it, indicating that it had not caused the mastodon's death.[4] Gustafson deemed it the earliest known evidence of interaction between humans and mastodons in the Americas. However, there was debate,[5] because of the lack of indisputable proof that the point was made by humans.[6] This situation changed in 2011, when a new study of the remains definitively concluded that Gustafson was right as to both the age and the human origin of the point.[7] Gustafson also analyzed the position of the 6,800-kilogram (14,991 lb)[4] fossil, which was lying on its left side, while the heavily fragmented skull was rotated 180 degrees from its natural position. Noting that this could not have occurred due to natural causes Gustafson deduced that the carcass must have been tampered with by humans.[8] Archaeologists were surprised to find a mastodon in the area at all because pollen samples that were taken showed no evidence of trees, which mastodons fed on.[9]

In an excavated layer above the mastodon, as well as that of a 6,700-year-old deposit of ash from the eruption of Mount Mazama, a projectile-point was found in the style of Coastal Olcott points common in the area no earlier than 9,000 years ago.[10]

The site also turned up remains of caribou, bison, and plant macrofossils.[11] Bones of the bison showed evidence of butchering by humans.[12] The pollen found in the same layer as the mastodon was predominantly sedge and cattail, while other layers contained that of plants ranging from Canadian buffaloberry, blackberry and wild rose, to willow and alder.[13]

Gustafson continued to excavate at the site for eight years, finding the partial remains of two more mastodons. Though stone tools and artifacts of bone were found, Gustafson failed to find evidence of an encampment by the people theorized to have butchered the mastodons.[14]

Prior to the excavation at the Manis site, which was dated before 12,000 years ago,[15] archaeological sites west of the Cascade Range considered to be early were aged between 9,000 and 6,000 years old.[16]

During the years of excavation, Clare and Emanuel Manis welcomed over 50,000 visitors to the site. In 1978, when the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places, Senator Henry M. Jackson made the announcement.[14] In 2002, on the 25th anniversary of the discovery, Manis' widow donated the site to the National Archaeological Conservancy.[5] The fossil remains of the mastodon were donated to the Museum & Arts Center in Sequim and are now on display. A casting of the bone projectile point is also on display.

Manis Mastodon, Cast of Rib with Embedded Object; The rib bone holds an object that is embedded 0.75 inches deep, and tapers to a point. The wound is thought to be a penetration fracture showing several months of healing. Museum and Arts Center, Sequim, Washington.

In Oct. 2011, CT scans and DNA tests performed at the Center of the Study of the First Americans (CSFA), Anthropology Department at Texas A&M University published findings about the spear point. The CT scans clearly established the spear point had been sharpened to a needle point by human hands. The DNA tests dated the Manis site at 13,800 years old. Since the 1950s, archaeologists have believed the Clovis people were the first human inhabitants of North America and that they lived here 13,000 years ago. However the discovery of sites pre-dating Clovis, such as Monte Verde in Chile and Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Pennsylvania, have been challenging this presumption at least since the 1990s.[17] The Manis Mastodon Site is 800 years older than the Clovis people. This site, among others, is helping to change the long-held beliefs of many archaeologists about the earliest human inhabitants of North America. The Manis Mastodon Site remains the oldest archaeological site on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and one of the oldest in North America.

In November 2011, Shirley Manis, daughter of discoverer Emanuel Manis, authored the first and only children's picture book about the Manis Mastodon Site, which includes the most recent research analysis.[18]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Waters, Michael R.; Stafford, Thomas W.; McDonald, H. Gregory; Gustafson, Carl; Rasmussen, Morten; Cappellini, Enrico; Olsen, Jesper V.; Szklarczyk, Damian; Jensen, Lars Juhl (2011-10-21). "Pre-Clovis Mastodon Hunting 13,800 Years Ago at the Manis Site, Washington". Science. 334 (6054): 351–353. doi:10.1126/science.1207663. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 22021854.
  3. ^ Barton 2002, p. 50
  4. ^ a b Barton 2002, p. 51
  5. ^ a b Tom Paulson (August 9, 2002). "Still unresolved: The puzzle of the mastodon's bones". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
  6. ^ McMillan 1999, p. 104
  7. ^ Sindya N. Bhanoo (October 20, 2011). "Big-Game Hunt Adds to Evidence of Early North American Settlement". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  8. ^ Bergland 1988, p. 21
  9. ^ Barton 2002, p. 55
  10. ^ Bergland 1988, p. 27
  11. ^ Kenneth L. Petersen; Peter J. Mehringer Jr; Carl E. Gustafson (September 1983). "Late-glacial vegetation and climate at the Manis Mastodon site, Olympic Peninsula, Washington". Quaternary Research. 20 (2): 215–231. doi:10.1016/0033-5894(83)90078-9.
  12. ^ Bergland 1988, p. 24
  13. ^ Kirk 1978, p. 28
  14. ^ a b Kirk 2007, p. 11
  15. ^ Kirk 2007, p. 10
  16. ^ Kirk 1978, p. 82
  17. ^ Meltzer (2009)
  18. ^ Shirley Manis, In a Scoop of Dirt - How Digging a Pond Changed North America's Prehistory, 2011.


  • Barton, Miles (2002). Prehistoric America: A Journey through the Ice Age and Beyond, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-09819-7.
  • Bergland, Eric O.; Marr, Jerry (1988). Prehistoric Life on the Olympic Peninsula: The First Inhabitants of Great American Wilderness, Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forests Association, ISBN 0-914019-19-8.
  • Daugherty, Richard D. Manis Mastodon Site (Clallam County, Washington), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. On file at the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Olympia, Washington and at the National Park Service, Washington, DC.
  • Gustafson, Carl E.; Gilbow, Delbert; Daugherty, Richard D. (1979). The Manis Mastodon Site: Early Man on the Olympic Peninsula, Canadian Journal of Archaeology, 3:157-164.
  • Kirk, Ruth; Daugherty, Richard D. (1978). Exploring Washington Archaeology, University of Washington Press, ISBN 0-295-95630-5.
  • Kirk, Ruth; Daugherty, Richard D. (2007). Archaeology in Washington, University of Washington Press, ISBN 0-295-98696-4.
  • McMillan, Alan Daniel (1999). Since the Time of the Transformers: The Ancient Heritage of the Nuu-chah-nulth, Ditidaht, and Makah, UBC Press, ISBN 0-7748-0701-6.
  • Manis, Shirley (2011). "In a Scoop of Dirt - How Digging a Pond Changed North America's Prehistory", Manis, ISBN 978-0-9839286-0-7.
  • Meltzer, David J. (2009) First Peoples in a New World : Colonizing Ice Age America. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Clovis culture

The Clovis culture is a prehistoric Paleo-Indian culture, named for distinct stone tools found in close association with Pleistocene fauna at Blackwater Locality No. 1 near Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1920s and 1930s. It appears around 11,500–11,000 uncalibrated radiocarbon years before present at the end of the last glacial period, and is characterized by the manufacture of "Clovis points" and distinctive bone and ivory tools. Archaeologists' most precise determinations at present suggest this radiocarbon age is equal to roughly 13,200 to 12,900 calendar years ago. Clovis people are considered to be the ancestors of most of the indigenous cultures of the Americas.The only human burial that has been directly associated with tools from the Clovis culture included the remains of an infant boy researchers named Anzick-1. Paleogenetic analyses of Anzick-1's ancient nuclear, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosome DNA reveal that Anzick-1 is closely related to modern Native American populations, which lends support to the Beringia hypothesis for the settlement of the Americas.The Clovis culture was replaced by several more localized regional societies from the Younger Dryas cold-climate period onward. Post-Clovis cultures include the Folsom tradition, Gainey, Suwannee-Simpson, Plainview-Goshen, Cumberland, and Redstone. Each of these is thought to derive directly from Clovis, in some cases apparently differing only in the length of the fluting on their projectile points. Although this is generally held to be the result of normal cultural change through time, numerous other reasons have been suggested as driving forces to explain changes in the archaeological record, such as the Younger Dryas postglacial climate change which exhibited numerous faunal extinctions.

After the discovery of several Clovis sites in eastern North America in the 1930s, the Clovis people came to be regarded as the first human inhabitants who created a widespread culture in the New World. However, this theory has been challenged, in the opinion of many archaeologists, by several archaeological discoveries, including sites such as Cactus Hill in Virginia, Paisley Caves in the Summer Lake Basin of Oregon, the Topper site in Allendale County, South Carolina, Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Pennsylvania, the Friedkin site in Texas, Cueva Fell in Chile, and especially, Monte Verde, also in Chile. The oldest claimed human archaeological site in the Americas is the Pedra Furada hearths, a site in Brazil that precedes the Clovis culture and the other sites already mentioned by 19,000 to 30,000 years. This claim has become an issue of contention between North American archaeologists and their South American and European counterparts, who disagree on whether it is conclusively proven to be an older human site.

Dent Site

Dent Site is a Clovis culture (about 11,000 years before present) site located in Weld County, Colorado, near Milliken, Colorado. It provided evidence that man and mammoth co-existed in the Americas.

The site is located on an alluvial fan alongside the South Platte River.

Manis (disambiguation)

Manis is a genus of pangolins.

Manis may also refer to:

Manis (given name)

Manis (surname)

Manis (orangutan) (fl. 1978), film performer

Manis Mastodon Site

Manis paleojavanica, an extinct species of pangolin

Apristurus manis (ghost catshark)

Belimbing manis (Averrhoa carambola), a tree which produces starfruit in Indonesia and Malaysia


Mastodons (Greek: μαστός "breast" and ὀδούς, "tooth") are any species of extinct proboscideans in the genus Mammut (family Mammutidae), distantly related to elephants, that inhabited North and Central America during the late Miocene or late Pliocene up to their extinction at the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. Mastodons lived in herds and were predominantly forest-dwelling animals that fed on a mixed diet obtained by browsing and grazing with a seasonal preference for browsing, similar to living elephants.

M. americanum, the American mastodon, and M. pacificus, the Pacific mastodon, are the youngest and best-known species of the genus. Mastodons disappeared from North America as part of a mass extinction of most of the Pleistocene megafauna, widely believed to have been caused by overexploitation by Clovis hunters.

Michael R. Waters

Michael Waters is a professor of Anthropology and Geography at Texas A&M University, where he holds the Endowed Chair in First American Studies. He specializes in geoarchaeology, and has applied this method to the investigation of Clovis and later Paleo-Indian, and possible pre-Clovis occupation sites.Currently, he is involved in four research projects, at the Debra L. Friedkin site in Texas, the Hogeye Clovis Cache site in Texas, the Coats-Hines Mastodon site in Tennessee, and the Page-Ladson site in Florida. Since 2005 he has held the Endowed Chair in First American Studies at Texas A&M University, been director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans, and Executive Director of North Star Archaeological Research Program since 2002. His research is directed to the first inhabitants of the Americas and specifically, when and by what means did the first peoples come to the Americas and how they managed to adapt to the new environmental conditions.

Museum and Arts Center, Sequim, Washington

The Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley (MAC), located in downtown Sequim, Washington, is a museum of art and regional cultural history. Founded in 1976, the MAC is home to the Manis Mastodon, famous as one of the first-known contact of humans with a mastodon 12,000 years ago.

The Manis Mastodon exhibit features a mastodon mural mounted with the remaining mastodon bones, related artifacts, and a video about the archaeological digs. Additional exhibits include rotating local history exhibits, the Cowan Theater displaying selected items from the John & Inez Cowan Collection, and a Featured Artist Exhibit showcasing the works of local artists that changes monthly. The Exhibit Center is located at 175 W. Cedar St. in Sequim, and features an on-site Museum Store.

The MAC administrative offices are located at the DeWitt Building, 544 N. Sequim Ave. in Sequim. The DeWitt Building also houses the Whatton Resource Room for Historical Research, which is open to the public.

The Museum & Arts Center also owns the historic Dungeness School (available for rentals), Captain John Morris House and Washington Harbor Schoolhouse. The MAC is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization, supported by the Second Chance Consignment Shop, MAC Nite Dinner Auction, membership fees, donations, bequests, the Museum Store, and grants. It does not receive any county or municipal funding.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Clallam County, Washington

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Clallam County, Washington.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Clallam County, Washington, United States. Latitude and longitude coordinates are provided for many National Register properties and districts; these locations may be seen together in a map.There are 49 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.

Ozette Indian Village Archeological Site

The Ozette Indian Village Archeological Site is the site of an archaeological excavation near Ozette on the Olympic Peninsula near Neah Bay, Washington, United States. The site was a village occupied by the Ozette Makah people until a mudslide inundated the site around the year 1750.

Sequim, Washington

Sequim (listen) is a city in Clallam County, Washington, United States. The 2010 census counted a population of 6,606. With the surrounding area, the population is about 28,000. Sequim is located along the Dungeness River near the base of the Olympic Mountains. The population served by the Sequim School District population was over 26,000 in 2018.Sequim lies within the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains and receives on average less than 16 inches (410 mm) of rain per year — about the same as Los Angeles, California — leading it to give itself the nickname of Sunny Sequim. However, the city is relatively close to some of the wettest temperate rainforests of the contiguous United States. This climate anomaly is sometimes called the blue hole of Sequim. Fogs and cool breezes from the Juan de Fuca Strait make Sequim's climate more humid than would be expected from the low average annual precipitation. Some places have surprisingly luxuriant forests dominated by Douglas-fir and western red cedar. Black cottonwood, red alder, bigleaf maple, Pacific madrone, lodgepole pine, and Garry oak can also be large. Historically, much of the area was an open oak-studded prairie supported by somewhat excessively drained gravelly sandy loam soil, though agriculture and development of the Dungeness valley have changed this ecosystem. Most soils under Sequim have been placed in a series that is named after the city. This "Sequim series" is one of the few Mollisols in western Washington and its high base saturation, a characteristic of the Mollisol order, is attributed to the minimal leaching of bases caused by low annual rainfall.The city and the surrounding area are particularly known for the commercial cultivation of lavender, supported by the unique climate. It makes Sequim the "Lavender Capital of North America", rivaled only in France. The area is also known for its Dungeness crab.

Sequim is pronounced as one syllable, with the e elided: "skwim". The name developed from the Klallam language.


Slahal (or Lahal) is a gambling game of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, also known as stickgame, bonegame, bloodless war game, handgame, or a name specific to each language. It is played throughout the western United States and Canada by indigenous peoples. Traditionally, the game uses the shin bones from the foreleg of a deer or other animal. The name of the game is a Chinook Jargon word.

The game is played by two opposing teams. There are two pairs of "bones", one pair with a stripe and one without. The game also uses a set of scoring sticks (usually ten) and in some areas a "kick" or "king" stick—an extra stick won by the team who gets to start the game.

The game starts with each team dividing the scoring sticks between them, and one team receiving the four bones. Two individuals from that team take two bones each, one striped and one unstriped, and conceal them in their hands. They swap the bones between their hands and each other, singing gambling songs while they do so. The opposing team then tries to guess the position of the unmarked bones. If they are correct, they take two of the bones; if they are wrong, they pass one scoring stick to their opponents. When a team has won both pairs of bones, it is their turn to conceal them and the other team's turn to guess. The game continues until a team runs out of scoring sticks, at which point the other team wins.The game is usually accompanied by drumming and singing used to boost the morale of the team. The side that has the bones sings, while the other tries to guess. The musical accompaniment is also sometimes used to taunt the other team. Players and spectators may place bets on teams, or individual matches within the game between one guess and the other team's bone hiders.

Oral histories indicate that slahal is an ancient game, dating to before the last ice age. In the Coast Salish tradition, the Creator gave stickgame to humanity as an alternative to war at the beginning of time. The game serves multiple roles in Native culture—it is at once entertainment, a family pastime, a sacred ritual and a means of economic gain through gambling.

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