Last week Bertha excavated her way through downtown Seattle and into history when the tunnel-drilling machine struck ancient gold…ummm…ivory.
The find: an ancient mammoth's tusk that measures 8.5 feet in length and will be carbon dated to determine its age, estimated between 22,000 and 66,000 years. For now, the tusk will dry out naturally at Seattle’s Burke Museum – a process taking a year, maybe two.
Curators talk about naming the creature who left us part of itself. Freeway Franny? Alaskan Way Wilma? Bertha’s Babe?
The drilling of the tunnel has become more mystery than science with machine breakdowns and uncertain roadblocks. The process planned for easier traffic flow in the future. Who would have guessed we would, instead, travel so far back in time?
(S-R: In this handout photo provided by the Rafn Company, a mammoth tusk is fully exposed after being excavated. )