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Lone excavator at tar pit, Rancho La Brea
Alternative Title
Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection
Cobb, E. S
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
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Title supplied by cataloger.
Major Henry Hancock was given ownership to a large ranch in Los Angeles known as Rancho La Brea, in 1860. In the 1870s, Hancock found the skeletal remains of dinosaur as well as one Indian woman within the tar pits. The area that contains the skeletal collection and the Tar Pits is what is now called Hancock Park. Major Hancock was an early Los Angeles laywer, surveyor, land owner, and candidate for the Presidency of the United States.
A single worker is seen holding a pickaxe at the bottom of one of the tar pits located on Rancho La Brea. This typical "Brea Pit" shows a rapid inflow of fresh crude oil after excavation. Pumps were frequently employed to control this oil seepage, during excavation. Brea (asphaltum) was mined from this depression at an earlier period. At that time, the owner of this area, Henry Hancock, excavated this section for its tar content. Carloads of bones not then known to have a scientific value were burned as rubbish. This area became known as the "Death Trap of the Ages" when it was discovered that the bones were from prehistoric mammals, plants and birds. Beyond lay the Hancock Oil fields.
1 photographic print :b&w ;25 x 20 cm.
Photographic prints
Security Pacific National Bank Collection
A-007-210 4x5; L.A.-Parks-Hancock Park-La Brea Tar Pits.
Paleontological excavations--California--Los Angeles
Excavations (Archaeology)--California--Los Angeles
Ranches--California--Los Angeles
Hancock Park (Los Angeles, Calif. : Park)
La Brea Pits (Calif.)

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