Burke Museum Home

Long-term Exhibit

Life and Times of Washington State

Ongoing

Life and Times of Washington State is a hands-on adventure that begins 545 million years ago. Richly exotic, yet strangely familiar, this exhibit is a passport through the evolution of our state's geology, biology, and archaeology.

Starting when most of Washington was covered by an ancient sea, you'll walk through Dino Times and see giant skeletons of dinosaurs, including a stegosaurus, an elasmosaur, and a 140-million-year-old allosaurus.

Among the many other specimens on display are beautiful 35 to 40-million-year-old fossil crabs, a cast of a 10,000-year-old mastodon, and a 20,000-year-old saber-toothed cat. There's even a 12,000-year-old giant ground sloth that was found during construction at Sea-Tac Airport!

As you pass these ancient beasts look for the stone artifacts from the famous East Wenatchee Clovis Cache, on loan from the Washington State Historical Society. You will see long stone spear points and other artifacts made by ancient hunters in our state more than 11,000 years ago.

Along the way toward Present Times, you'll also walk through a rumbling volcano, climb inside a replica cave formed when an ancient rhino was trapped by a lava flow in eastern Washington, and see the oldest baleen whale fossil ever found (28 million years old).

Learn more about how our incredibly varied state came to be. Visit Life and Times of Washington State today! 

woman in Life and Times gallery
Life and Times of Washington State