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Museum exhibit recalls 50 years at the “Calico Dig”

calico digThe San Bernardino County Museum will recognize the 50th anniversary of the Calico Mountains Archaeological Excavation with a special exhibit, “50 Years Ago: The Calico Dig.” The exhibit will open on October 11 and will continue through November 9, 2014. A companion exhibit at the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley will open October 18.

The Calico Mountains Archaeological Site (once called the Calico Early Man Site) is a quarry and tool production site near Yermo, California. For thousands of years, prehistoric people gathered stones (chalcedony and chert) from which to fashion tools for hunting, preparing food, and making other tools.

Dr. Louis Leakey, Ruth DeEtte (Dee) Simpson, and Dr. Gerald A. Smith, then director of the San Bernardino County Museum, established the Calico Mountains Archaeological Site in 1964. The National Geographic Society funded the first four years of excavation. The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It is the only site in the Americas where Dr. Leakey—famous for his groundbreaking work in the Olduvai Gorge of Africa—directed a project. Continuously excavated for 50 years, the site is still active with the help of trained volunteers, college classes, and scout groups.

The Friends of the Calico Early Man Site, incorporated in 1981, cares for this important public resource and provided the funding for this exhibit.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669.


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