Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

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About Agate Fossil Beds Information

Agate National Park contains some of the most important and exciting fossils in the world, making it one of the crown jewels in the National Park System.

During the 1890s, scientists rediscovered what the Lakota Sioux already knew existed: bones preserved in one of the most complete Miocene mammal sites in the world. However, as a place of significance, Agate is so much more. The landscape surrounding the fossil beds has been a site of change for millions of years.

Agate is a place of interaction, reflective of both the natural and cultural realms. It has been a meeting place between weather and sediment; the exchange of ideas and memories between cultures; and a site for present generations to make contact with the past. It's a place where tangible reminders of these interactions are present everyday. The weathering of sedimentary rock, bones becoming visible in cliffs, and the gifts presented to James Cook by the Lakota Sioux are all reflective of the strong natural and cultural relationships of the Agate landscape.

So, Agate is more than fossils; it is a cultural landscape that has evolved over millions of years and reflects many players; from early mammals roaming the valleys and hills, to nomadic nations of the plains, and later tales of life in the American West.

 

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