Ice Age Fossils State Park | Beneath the Surface
Officially announced in January of 2017 as part of Governor Brian Sandoval’s “Explore Your Nevada Initiative”, this 315 acre park features a portion of the upper Las Vegas wash that is rich in both paleontological and historical resources. During the Pleistocene, also known as the Ice Age, the wash provided verdant habitat for several species of now extinct mammals, including Columbian mammoths, American lions, camels, dire wolves, and ground sloths. The discovery of abundant fossils onsite triggered a long history of scientific research, which includes the famous “Big Dig” of 1962-3, the largest inter-disciplinary scientific expedition of its kind up to that point.
Although there is currently no existing infrastructure onsite, I created a set of high-action, high-drama illustrations depicting various fossil species found at the location for the planned (under construction) modern visitor center. The grand opening of the park is planned for summer 2020.
This split-perspective scene shows life underwater at one of the many freshwater springs that used to nourish a once verdant landscape during the Pleistocene (Ice Age), 13,000 years ago.