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Chipped Stone Bear

California State Artifact

Chipped Stone Bear artifact; photo from California State Library (all rights reserved; used by permission). 

Official State Artifact of California

California designated the chipped stone bear as the official state prehistoric artifact in 1991. California is the first state to designate a prehistoric artifact as an official state symbol (followed by Nevada in 1995 and Tennessee in 2014).

Discovered in 1985 at an archaeological dig site in San Diego County, this small stone (actual size about 2.5 by 1.5 inches) resembles a walking bear. The chipped stone bear  was created about 7- 8,000 years ago out of volcanic rock by one of California's first human inhabitants.