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A Mammoth Contest: A Piece of South Lake Union History Named

Apr 11th, 2014

Two months ago, a Columbian mammoth tusk was unearthed at the construction site for AMLI South Lake Union, an upscale apartment complex near downtown Seattle. As a discovery of the sort that comes along perhaps once a generation, the mammoth tusk quickly became national news. A curious and excited public, already in excellent spirits following the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl victory, embraced the discovery. A collaborative effort was made to preserve the tusk, which made its debut as a historical museum piece on Dino Day at the Burke Museum. That same day, a contest to decide on a name for this fascinating relic was launched.

A Mammoth Naming Contest

After a month of accepting submissions and days of thoughtful deliberation, a panel of expert judges has decided on a name for our prehistoric friend. Roughly 1,000 submissions were received, giving the judges a host of of clever names to choose from. The task was difficult, but the judges, including an AMLI Residential senior development associate, a Burke Museum paleontologist, and a KING 5 news anchor who, have all been working closely with the mammoth tusk since its discovery and were ultimately able to narrow the list down to one name: LuLu! The name LuLu was not actually submitted as part of the contest, but is a combination of two submissions: Lucky and Lu. The name “Lucky” was offered up by Zoe F. because the find was a lucky one. The logic behind “Lu,” submitted by Claudia G., can be found in the tusk’s discovery in South Lake Union.

An Enriching Award

The winners of the contest, both of Seattle, received a Burke Museum membership, personalized gift bag, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum’s renowned paleontology collection. Their thoughtfulness and creativity was also celebrated at the preview party for the museum’s new exhibit, “Imagine That: Surprising Stories and Amazing Objects at the Burke Museum.”

“Imagine That”

The Burke Museum’s newest exhibit, which will be open to the public from  April 12 to October 26, seeks to answer questions people have about the materials and evidence that contribute to our knowledge of natural history. In addition to handwoven baskets, decorative masks, ancient sandals, and other traces of human history, the exhibit will feature skeletal reconstructions of animals accompanied by fascinating facts. And yes, you’ve guessed it, mammoths will be featured.

In addition to paying a visit to the “Imagine That” exhibit if you get the chance, keep your eyes peeled for future news regarding LuLu for whom present-day Seattle was a stomping grounds some 20,000+ years ago. Her story may be ancient history, but our life with her in it is just beginning. She will doubtless inspire figurines, paintings, and stories. Who knows?

Have you had the opportunity to glimpse LuLu’s tusk? If so, share your experience below!

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