Officials allow public access to La Brea Tar Pits through observation pit after 20 years

By Mila Whiteley,

The observation pit of La Brea Tar Pits, an archeological site where numerous ancient fossils have been found, has been reopened for the public after 20 years.

The La Brea Tar Pits, located in California, have been the location of five million fossil discoveries, according to the Associated Press. One million of these fossils have been discovered in Pit 91, which will also be reopened this summer for scientists to continue their excavations while guests watch.

John Harris, who is the chief curator for the La Brea Pits and Page Museum, described the appeal of the observation pit to KABC, "When people come here, they can see what the excavators see. They can see the fossils as they occur in the ground."

The pits were originally closed to the public because officials did not feel as if there were enough resources to protect such a treasure trove of fossils. Also, scientists chose to focus on bones that had already been excavated rather than those still buried, KABC reports.

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