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Student Art and Photography from The Daily Nebraskan

On February 10, 2004, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln student newspaper, The Daily Nebraskan, published student art work and photography for a story called "Echoes of the Past", written by the paper's editor, Van A. Jensen. The story concerned the Mesozoic plesiosaur fossil excavated in May 2003 from a site within the present boundaries of the Santee Sioux Nation in northeast Nebraska. The fossil has been determined to be about 70 million years old, that is, near the end of the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era. The fossil was found on state highway right-of-way within the boundaries of the Santee Sioux Nation near the town of Center. The excavation was conducted by University of Nebraska State Museum paleontologists in the Highway Salvage Paleontology Program, which is funded by the Nebraska Department of Roads. The Santee Sioux Nation, the Daily Nebraskan student newspaper, the Nebraska Department of Roads, and the University of Nebraska State Museum are delighted to share the news of this wonderful fossil discovery with everyone! UNL student artist Scott Eastman wrote the following commentary about his painting:

"I digitally composited original watercolor and ink paintings, layering the images to represent the various groups-such as the Santee Sioux Tribe, UNL's Vertebrate Paleontology Department, and the Nebraska Department of Roads. The central image is the plesiosaur; however, I wanted to convey only the silhouette and a sense of its massive scale, leaving the details shrouded to draw attention to the drama below the surface. Paleontology is about working backward through time, so reversing the traditional flow of time, I used geological strata to represent the different parties inextricably bound to the plesiosaur. An exploded diagram of plesiosaur anatomy, a network of intertwined highways and rivers, and the distinctive beadwork of the Santee allude to each group."

-- Scott Eastman, February 2004

Painting © Scott Eastman, The Daily Nebraskan