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Paleontology Archaeology Collections

Welcome to the home of the County of Orange’s Paleontology and Archaeology collections, or the COPA. Since the 1970s, the County has been accepting cultural materials from development projects in order to preserve artifacts and fossils for the benefit of the scientific community and for the enjoyment of the citizens of Orange County. As stewards of this collection, OC Parks manages the 6 million artifacts and fossils the County has acquired.

The COPA has a word class paleontology collection, including fossils as far back as the Jurassic period 180 million years ago. Notable specimens include Eocene terrestrial mammals, late Oligocene-early Miocene terrestrial mammals; and Miocene-Pliocene marine mammals.

The COPA also contains an archaeological collection that reveals the human history of Orange County, including evidence of the first humans to arrive here 12,000 years ago up to the historic period 50 years ago.

Explore these pages to learn more about the evidence of the ancient history of life and humans in Orange County.

stone artifacts