Big Bone Lick: The Cradle of American Paleontology

University Press of Kentucky
2
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On March 7, 1808, President Thomas Jefferson received a long-awaited shipment of approximately 300 fossils from William Clark, who had just completed his westward expedition with Meriwether Lewis. The fossils were unearthed at Big Bone Lick in northern Kentucky, and over the years they had gained the interest of such prominent figures as Daniel Boone, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. Jefferson's receipt of the fossils was the realization of more than twenty years of the philosopherstatesman's interest in the site and its natural treasures. Big Bone Lick: The Cradle of American Paleontology recounts the rich history of the fossil site that gave the world the first evidence of the extinction of several mammalian species, including the American mastodon. Big Bone Lick has played many roles: nutrient source, hallowed ground, salt mine, health spa, and a trove of archaeological riches and paleontological wonders. Natural historian Stanley Hedeen presents a comprehensive and accessible narrative of Big Bone Lick from its geological formation forward, explaining why the site attracted first animals, then Native peoples of the region, European explorers and scientists, and eventually American pioneers and presidents. Big Bone Lick is a history of both a place and a scientific discipline: it explores the infancy and adolescence of paleontology from its humble and sometimes humorous beginnings. Hedeen combines elements of history, geology, politics, and biology to make Big Bone Lick an entertaining story as well as a valuable historical resource.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University Press of Kentucky
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Published on
Dec 31, 2008
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Pages
182
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ISBN
9780813172927
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 19th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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To find out more about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com.
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important and dramatic chapter in the American story—the settling of the Northwest Territory by dauntless pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would come to define our country.

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Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments. This is a revelatory and quintessentially American story, written with David McCullough’s signature narrative energy.
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
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In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.

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