Posted January 24, 2008

Diamond Lake Western Center Museum for Archaeology and Paleontology

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Western Center Museum for Archaeology and Paleontology
2345 Searl Parkway Hemet, CA 92374 951-791-0033 (phone) 951-791-0032 (fax)
Western Center (Archaeological) Museum Opened October 15, 2006 - Hemet, California The Western Center for Archaeology & Paleontology is a museum on a 17-acre lot (seven-hectare) campus located near the dig site, Diamond Valley Lake - The $46 million Western Center for Archaeology is a marvel, in Hemet, California. link The Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir, completed in 1999 by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, is the largest earthworks project on US soil. The 33,000 square-foot Western Center for Archaeology & Paleontology facility showcases more than $4 million worth of Ice Age mammal and archaeological exhibits highlighting early settlers in the Inland region. Link Ice Age Finds in the Dig of Diamond Valley Lake
The Western Center museum complex has an incredible (huge) collection of bones, teeth and body parts of extinct animals unearthed and discovered at the Diamond Valley Lake site. Over 1,000,000 fossils and artifacts were unearthed during the construction of Diamond Valley Lake. The Water museum and Archaeology Life Museum complex provides a link between Southern Californiaís water infrastructure and the evolution of life in a green facility in the California desert. The $40 million campus runs 72,000 square feet and was designed as a collaboration by Michael Lehrer and Mark Gangi from Lehrer Architects and Gangi Architects respectively - built by Gangi Builders in a joint venture partnership called Lehrer Gangi Design Build. The Center for Water Education and Western Center Communication Foundation decided to create a museum fitting in form and function to display the Native American and Fossil finds of the big dig. Most of the digs discovery is in the Museum still being analyzed. The Hemet Site is located in Riverside County east of Highway 15 that extends to San Diego, located on Highway 79; Housing substantial Ice Age fossils from the Diamond Lake dig site which was all part of the building of the Diamond Valley Lake and dam, the regionís largest reservoir. Diamond Valley Lake is a lifeline for Southern California in times of drought. The lake holds enough water to meet the areaís emergency and drought needs for six months. If not for the digging of a dam at this site, there would have been no fossil discovery at all. Southern California was home to mastodons, mammoths, and saber-toothed cats, horses and camels which have their fossils on display at the Western museum from the nearby Hemet Lake dig site. These fossils are of animals that have long ago been extinct. The reservoir's construction field operations were the largest in the nation, moving more than 200,000 cubic yards (150,000 m≥) of earth and rock each day to build the project's three dams. More than 150 million cubic yards (115,000,000 m≥) of materials were hauled - more than two times the total excavation of the "Channel Tunnel" project linking England and France at a cost of 1.9 billion dollars. Deemed one of the largest digs in United States. Mammoth
Ice Age fossils that were unearthed at the Diamond Valley Lake dig site, included "Max", the largest mastodon found in California, which measured 10 feet tall at its shoulder which is the largest mastodon found in the western United States, and "Xena", a Columbian 10,000 year old mammoth. This Valley of the Mastodons at the Hemet dig site is considered one of the most important finds in Archaeology. The Incredible mastodon bones and artifacts are dated back more than 230,000 years. The last Ice Age started about 70,000 years ago and ended about 10,000 years ago (during the Pleistocene epoch). The Earth was much colder than it is now; snow accumulated on much of the land, glaciers and ice sheets extended over large areas and the sea levels were lower. These phenomena changed the surface of the earth, forming lakes, changing the paths of rivers, eroding land, and depositing sand, gravel, and rocks along the glaciers' paths. Link These "huge" animals roamed around Hemet when the ground was much different. A giant ground sloth that stands almost 7 feet tall was found, which provides a glimpse into the ever-changing climate on earth between now, and then.

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