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Natural History Museum of Utah  Explore billions of years of awesome at #NHMU.


Norse Fest goes until 5pm today at the Museum. If you snapped some good photos there, be sure to share them with #NHMU and you'll be entered to win our door prize! Each photo is an entry. 🇳🇴 🇸🇪 🇩🇰 🇫🇮

Today, we marked the 2017 autumn equinox and fall is officially here. On the equinox, day and night are each 12 hours long when the Earth is in alignment with the sun directly above the Earth's equator. Are you ready for colder weather and longer nights? 🍂

Paleontology volunteer, Randy Johnson, carefully prepares the skull of a new ceratopsian species at NHMU.
The Museum relies on an army of amazing volunteers that help in a wide variety of tasks, from delicate fossil preparation in our Paleo Prep Lab to teaching kids about minerals in the far corners of #Utah.
Check out our blog to read more about two all-star volunteers, Randy and Ann Johnson, who together have dedicated thousands of hours volunteering at NHMU. nhmu.utah.edu/blog


For #TBT, here's a look at some of the material culture discovered in Danger Cave, which produced the largest yield of artifacts from all caves surveyed in the region at the time.
The expedition recovered skin and hides, food bones, netting, textiles, pottery, pegs, fuel bundles, snares, bows (for fire making), arrows, fire drills, and other miscellaneous materials. The first specimens listed in Jennings’ archaeological papers were chipped stones.
Hundreds of chipped stone specimens were discovered, and each was considered an intentional effort by early inhabitants to manufacture tools meant for a specific survival activity. Even dull, poorly formed fragments were treated with the same respect as finely finished, shining points.
Upon final review of the collection, Jennings noted that “The most important interpretation is not that various points and knives did vary in popularity from [periods of the cave’s history], but that so few styles were unique to one [period alone].” “Most of the flint types were found on every level in about the same percentages. The most remarkable attribute of the collection is the singularly uniform proportional distribution of chipped flint forms throughout the years the site was occupied,” Jennings wrote.
Many of these ancient artifacts are housed in the Anthropology Collection at @nhmu, and you can see some of them on display in the First Peoples gallery!

Terrariums Craft Workshop was a hit tonight (as expected)! 😁 Thanks to everyone who came out to get crafty at @nhmu, and for @craftlakecity for putting on another great workshop. Our next workshop will be hosted by @the_paintmixer on October 4. Visit our website at nhmu.utah.edu/craft for more info. 🎨

Feels like fall out here! You ready for a change of season, Salt Lake City?

For #MuseumMonday, we want to share these two copies of Viking pendants currently on display in Vikings: Beyond the Legend. The originals were part of the Hiddensee treasure hoard found in Pommern, Germany, and displayed similarities found in Viking art from various geographical areas. One of the most common examples was the inclusion of birds of prey on items of jewelry, which you can see at the 3 o'clock position on the large pendant. Vikings continues at NHMU through January 1, 2018. We are also hosting Norse Fest this month on the 23rd. Follow the link in our bio for more info.

#FossilFriday pop quiz! What is it? Can you guess before swiping right? ➡️➡️ You'll find this specimen in the Green River Fossils display at the entrance of Past Worlds at NHMU.

While at the @universityofutah, Jesse Jennings established the first—and still used—archaeological site recording system for the state, was one of the first archaeologists in the country to make use of Willard Libby’s radiocarbon dating technique, excavated several of Utah’s most famous dry caves—including Danger and Hogup caves—and helped establish the antiquity of humans in the Great Basin. “He truly believed that the ultimate limits on archaeological interpretations came from the precision (or lack thereof) of the excavations on which the interpretations were based,” said Duncan Metcalfe, NHMU’s current curator of anthropology. “If he didn’t consider you a good ‘dirt’ archaeologist, you didn’t exist.” According to Metcalfe, there were two accomplishments of which Jennings was most proud.
The first was the completion of the Glen Canyon Salvage Project that identified more than 2,000 archaeological sites in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona between 1957 and 1962. Jennings spent seven of his own summers helping manage what was considered a logistical nightmare, yet he succeeded thanks in part to his military background and experience with the National Park Service.
Of Glen Canyon, Jennings wrote, “The vastness, the isolation, the stillness, the overwhelming beauty of the land, even the heat, the still starlight nights, the blue or brassy midday sky, all combined to make me constantly aware of my good fortune. To be sure, I never forgot that it was a dangerous land and that poor judgment or forgetting the water could bring disaster.” The second accomplishment Jennings took great pride in was the establishment of the Utah Museum of Natural History in 1969, now known as the Natural History Museum of Utah. That’s right, Jesse Jennings was the founder and founding director of this spectacular Museum housed in the Rio Tinto Center.
To learn more about Jesse Jennings’ career, check out his autobiography, Accidental Archaeologist.


Science Cafe is in session and guests are exploring the galleries. We're open until 9 p.m. every Wednesday and it makes for a great evening out in #SaltLakeCity.

For your #MuseumMonday, here's one of our favorite artifacts currently on display in Vikings: Beyond the Legend at NHMU.
It's a pendant of Thor's hammer, crafted from gold and silver, and richly decorated with filigree ornaments.
#Thor is the god of thunder ⛈ and chief protector of both gods and humans. His popularity in Viking culture is clear, based on the many finds of his hammer, Mjölnir. That popularity still seems strong in western culture today, based on his many Hollywood appearances. 😉

If you haven't yet seen Vikings at NHMU, consider visiting on September 23, when we'll host Norse Fest. It will be a celebration of all things Norse, from food to music, dance, and more. Follow the link in our bio for more info.

Happy #FossilFriday from NHMU, home of the world's largest display of horned dinosaur skulls!

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