"This specimen is the oldest, most spectacular and
rare work of art in the Americas."
"Never before in the Western Hemisphere, to my knowledge, has there been found a bone from an extinct faunal species incised with a recognizable picture of a proboscidean."
- Dr. Barbara A. Purdy, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology,
Emeritus Curator in Archaeology, FLMNH, University of Florida
Click Here to read the most recent manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaelogical Science
Click Here & Click Hereto view recent scientific papers delivered at the Pleistocene Art of the World Congress in France
by Dr. Barbara Purdy in September 2010
The Epic Find...
James Kennedy, a local amateur archaeologist, has been digging for artifacts since he was a young boy and is fascinated by his numerous finds. However, none compares to the incised image of a mastodon or mammoth that he found on a bone of an extinct species said to be over 13,000 years old!
Click Here to read the Vero Beach 32963 Article that was published June 4, 2009.
Click Here to read the National Geographic article published June 10, 2009.
Click Here to read the Treasure Coast Newspaper article published June 5, 2009
Click Here to hear a radio (WQCS) interview with James Kennedy
Click Here to read the Palm Beach Post article published March 8, 2010
Click Here Article published in the Press Journal about a possible fossil museum at the Vero Beach High School
Click Here for news reports of previous finds by James Kennedy. Click Here to see other finds in the news.
Pictured Above: The Jungle in Vero Beach Today
Click Here for a recent article on AmericanArchaeologist.com
Man and Mammoth in Vero Beach, Florida... Since the discovery of "Vero Man", scientists have debated the fact of whether man had inhabited Florida during the last Ice Age.
Click Here to watch a video regarding the link between man and Ice Age mammals.
"The Hunters" by Dean Quigley
Click Here to read an article published by Glenn R. Swift in the 1998 issue of Vero Beach Magazine titled "How Vero Man Was Found - And Lost Again".
Click Here to view a 1934 travel magazine about Tarzan Park.
Tarzan Park was created to display the multitude of fossils discovered here in Vero Beach. Read the publication to find out more.
Pictured Above: The skull of "Vero Man"
Click Here to view pages from the 12th annual report of the Florida State Geological Survey, E.H. Sellards, state Geologist, 1919.
Click Here to view addtional information published by E.H. Sellards.
Click Here to access a recent article as well as a video about the activity now in process to find more information from the "Vero Man" site
Click Here to view pages from a publication titled "Archaeological Evidences of Man's Antiquity at Vero, Florida" by George Grant MacCurdy, A.M. PhD.
Charles Wilson Peale founded the Philadelphia Museum,which was later renamed the Peale Museum. It was the first to display North American mastodon bones.
The display of the "mammoth" bones entered Peale into a long standing debate between Thomas Jefferson and Comte de Buffon. Buffon argued that Europe was superior to the Americas biologically, which was illustrated through the size of animals found there. Jefferson referenced the existence of these "mammoths" (which he believed still roamed northern regions of the continent) as evidence for a greater biodiversity in America. Peale's display of these bones drew attention from Europe, as did his method of re-assembling large skeletal specimens in three dimensions.
"Exhuming the First American Mastodon" 1806 - 1808 Charles Wilson Peale (1741 - 1827)
oil on canvas, 49" x 61 1/2" Thomas Jefferson - Father of American Archaeology
The word archaeology was likely coined by the physician Jacob Spon, who traveled extensively throughout Asia Minor and Greece; Johann Joachim Winckelman (1717-1768) has been called the “Father of Archaeology.” Both men concentrated their studies on the art of the ancient world. Winckelman's book, Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums, was based on the reports of diggers at Herculaneum and Pompeii, who were primarily in search of art treasures for royal collections. As C.W. Ceram has noted, early archaeology was “in no sense a study of the whole culture - whereas modern archaeologists regard it as their supreme task.” Jefferson's excavation of the Indian burial ground near his home in Charlottesville may well have been the first scientific examination of remains with a cultural rather than artistic focus and earned him the title of “Father of American Archaeology.” Renowned archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler looked back with amazement at the scientific techniques Jefferson used:
He describes the situation of the mound in relation to natural features and evidences of human occupation. He detects components of geological interest in its materials and traces their sources. He indicates the stratigraphical features of the skeletal remains. And he relates his evidence objectively to current theories. No mean achievement for a busy statesman in 1784!
Jefferson’s interest in Native American history, culture, and languages led to the initiation and advancements of several fields of scientific study, among them archaeology, ethnology, anthropology, and comparative linguistics. One of the main catalysts for Jefferson’s exploration of these areas was his desire to counter the degenerative theories of the celebrated French natural historian, the Comte de Buffon, who was convinced that the physical environment of the New World had the effect of stunting both animal and vegetative growth. According to the eminent natural historian, the American continent had only recently emerged from the sea and, being covered with swamps and morasses and jungles, emitted noxious airs. As a result, American plants were weaker and less utile than those in the Old World; animals were smaller and less aggressive than the European counterparts; Native Americans were physically, mentally, and morally inferior; and even those animals and persons transferred to America would undergo progressive degeneration. Based on the dicta of some of the most renowned authorities on natural history, these ideas soon gained wide acceptance.