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


County of Orange-Operated Beaches to Close July 4-5
The County of Orange will close all County-operated beaches and beach parking lots on July 4 and 5 following a State recommendation meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Several Business Sectors Close in Orange County, California Due to COVID-19
Effective immediately by order of the State, the following sectors will be closed in Orange County:

Bars Ordered Closed in Orange County, California Effective July 2
Effective July 2, 2020, all bars are ordered closed in Orange County, California due to the increasing number COVID-19 cases.

Monday July 6, 2020 (Today)
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Tuesday July 7, 2020
11:00 AMSummer Session Toddler Storytime - El Toro Library

Join us as we read stories, sing songs, and play! Our storytime is for children of all ages accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Summer Session June 16-August 4.

No registration required.

Wednesday July 8, 2020
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