MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Amidst a brand new temperature and humidity-controlled building, new exhibits displayed artifacts found aboard the Combat Center dating from more than a thousand years ago to present times. From a native American pot to a World War II-era machine gun found buried under a pile of bottles, the Combat Centers Archeological and Paleontological Curation Center unveiled its newly developed exhibits Oct. 29.
“We built a new facility behind the center to store more artifacts that we have found which made a couple of rooms available for us to display more of what we have,” said Dr. John P. Hale, historian and archeologist, Archeological and Paleontological Curation Center.
The new facility will allow the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Division to explore and store more artifacts found aboard the Combat Center.
“It’s unique seeing all these artifacts,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Page, comptroller, G-8. “It shows all the people that have migrated to this unique area and all of these artifacts reflect that.”
Each artifact in the exhibit had a story all its own, like a pot that was dropped in the desert and left the way it was dropped for close to a thousand years, to a World War II-era Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun unearthed during a base housing build.
“We archive everything found in the Combat Center, along with artifacts from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow,” Hale said.
Hale explained that a place like the Curation Center helps explain to Marines and sailors why there are certain rules that are enforced by the NREA throughout the training areas and the rest of the Combat Center.
The Curation Center also has gardens outside which house two desert tortoises named Thelma and Louise, who are present during events and exhibits and a garden with different vegetation that grows in the high desert.
To see the new exhibits and the gardens, you can visit the Curation Center Monday through Thursday during regular business hours.
For more information on exhibits and hours of operation call 760-830-1196