Ice Age Mystery

During the last Ice Age (18,000 to 12,000 years ago), and in multiple previous Ice Ages, cataclysmic floods inundated portions of the Pacific Northwest from Glacial Missoula, pluvial Lake Bonneville, and perhaps from subglacial outbursts. Glacial Lake Missoula was a body of water as large as some of USA’s Great Lakes. This lake formed from glacial meltwater that was dammed by a lobe of the Canadian ice sheet. Episodically, perhaps every 40 to 140 year, the waters of this huge lake forced its way past the ice dam, inundating parts of the Pacific Northwest. Eventually the ice receded northward far enough that the dam did not reform and the flooding episodes ceased. These floods are a remarkable part of the North American natural heritage. They have profoundly affected the geography and ways of life in the region, but have until recently remained largely unknown to the general public.

The exhibit at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center explores the 11,000-year-old Clovis culture, with special attention to a Clovis site discovered in East Wenatchee in 1987. Five of the large points from that excavation are on display as well as scientific casts showing the variety of magnificent stone knives, scrapers, and bone tools that were recovered from the site. Learn about “The Clovis Conflict: 1987-1992.”

Guided tours are also offered through the Wenatchee Valley Museum during the summer months.