Utah Professional

Archaeological Council


1990: Vol 3 No 1

Utah Archaeology 1990, Volume 3, Number 1

Full Text of Issue


  • Message from the Editors by Joel C. Janetski and Steven J. Manning


  • Fremont Transitions by Steve Simms
    Historical preoccupation with defining the Fremont has outgrown its usefulness. The concept is a stereotype, routinely confusing the variables of material culture, techno-economic patterns, language, and ethnicity. This presents a naive and reductionistic scenario of prehistoric cultures to the reading public. Acknowledging Fremont unity, variability in the material culture of the time can be examined from a behavioral rather than cultural perspective. On-going study in northern Utah of the Fremont transition into archaeological obscurity and the subsequent Late Prehistoric period provides a context to examine a more dynamic approach. A working model illustrates the approach to the transition as an ecological phenomenon. Also, the relationship between the Fremont and the “Numic spread” hypothesis begs for critical examination and may be approachable with new evidence in the form of human skeletal remains form the Great Salt Lake.
  • Virgin Anasazi Architecture: Toward A Broader Perspective by Richard K. Talbot
    A review of Virgin, Kayenta, and Mesa Verde Anasazi architecture suggests temporal and spatial variability in structural shape and the occurrence of certain internal features. This variability indicates that Virgin area architecture, although at times slow to develop, is generally much more dynamic internally than previously thought. It also suggests an adherence to the broad patterns of regional architectural change. Temporally variable economic and social requirements or pressures probably had the greatest impact on Virgin architecture. Placing Virgin Anasazi architecture in a regional context provides a better perspective on its origins and development.
  • Barrier Canyon Style Pictographs of the Colorado Plateau. Part One: Hypothesis and Evidence for the Existence of Post Circa A.D. 1300 Panels by Steven J. Manning
    The date most commonly accepted for the creation and temporal span of the Barrier Canyon Style rock art of the Colorado Plateau is the Archaic period (ca. 7500-1500 B.P.) (Schaafsma 1986:225). A hypothesis is developed here that states many of the Barrier Canyon Style panels were constructed in circa A.D. 1300 to 1600. The Barrier Canyon Style may have developed or been introduced onto the Colorado Plateau in the Archaic period, but evidence advanced to date supporting this theorization is based upon conjecture and inference. Evidence for the extension of the Barrier Canyon Style, nearly to the Pueblo Historic Period, was initially indicated by the presence in the panels of elements strongly suggestive of fox pelt pendants. The fox pelt pendant, a characteristic feature of the Kachina Cult of the southwestern Pueblos, has not been found in any archaeological context in the Pueblo area before circa A.D. 1500. It is believed that the Kachina Cult entered the Anasazi culture from the Jornada Mogollon between A.D. 1325 and 1350. The fox pelt pendant, apparently appearing about 150 years later, may have been incorporated into both the Kachina Cult of the Anasazi-Pueblo culture and the existing Barrier Canyon Style at about the same time. This appears plausible because of the proximity (and possible overlap) of the Barrier Canyon Style province with that of the Pueblo IV Anasazi. Evidence to support concurrent acceptance is the absence of any object comparable to the fox pelt pendant in all known rock art in Utah from all time periods except the Barrier Canyon Style. Additional detailed evidence is presented that supports the hypothesis. Included in this evidence is the first reported presence of bows and arrows in the Barrier Canyon Style, an apparent temporal relationship between the Barrier Canyon Style artists, and the early historic Pueblo artists, and parallels of the Barrier Canyon Style with the Kachina Cult.


  • Limited Excavations At Bighorn Sheep Ruin (42SA1563) Canyonlands National Park, Utah by Susan M. Chandler
    Bighorn Sheep Ruin (42Sa1563) is a late Pueblo II-Pueblo III Anasazi cliff dwelling. The site is in the National Register of Historic Places Salt Creek Archaeological District of Canyonlands National Park, southeastern Utah. Bighorn Sheep Ruin has 28 structures along a relatively narrow ledge in a low alcove. Next to Big Ruin, it is the largest cliff site in the park. Bighorn Sheep Ruin was first recorded in 1930 as LS 14-11 by the Clafin-Emerson Expedition, led by Henry Roberts (Gunnerson 1969). The University of Utah rerecorded the site as 42Sa1563 in 1965 (Sharrock 1966). Nickens and Associates of Montrose, Colorado, performed limited stabilization at Bighorn Sheep Ruin in April 1985, under contract to the National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Todd R. Metzger served as Stabilization Project Director. Susan M. Chandler and Gary M. Matlock directed the limited archaeological excavations conducted at the site as part of the stabilization effort. Reports detailing the stabilization activities (Eininger and Chandler 1986) and excavation results (Chandler 1988) are on file at the National Park Service, Midwest Archaeological Center, Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • A Wickiup Site in Box Elder County, Utah by Roy Macpherson
    While conducting an archaeological survey of the Lake Bonneville shoreline (U-88-US-152bsp), a site featuring the remains of four wickiup structures (42Bo555), was discovered. The site is located in the Grouse Creek valley, 14.5 km south southwest of the town of Grouse Creek, Utah.
  • A Crookneck Wooden Staff from San Juan County, Utah by Nancy L. Shearin
    On 20 December 1980 a crookneck wooden staff was discovered by Fred Blackburn, White Mesa Institute, Blanding, Utah, in a tributary canyon, northeastern drainage of Grand Gulch, San Juan County, Utah. This paper reports the location, collection, and curation of this well-preserved crookneck staff. The prehistory of similar artifacts from the Southwestern archaeological record is reviewed along with a   historic account of ceremonial use. Implications concerning the function of the artifact with respect to cultural interaction, trade, and rock art motifs are discussed.
  •  The Nine Mile Canyon Survey: Amateurs Doing Archaeology by  Pamela W. Miller and Deanne G. Matheny
    In the fall of 1989, fifty-one volunteers worked under the supervision of four professional archaeologists for five weekends to record cultural manifestations in Nine Mile Canyon, Carbon County. The project was conceived and organized by amateurs who obtained funding to hire the professionals. The leaders among the amateurs are graduates of Level III of the Utah Avocational Archaeologists Certification Program (UAACP). Many of the other participants have completed levels I and II of the program. In this article we briefly review the history and goals of the Nine Mile Canyon Survey and the results of the first season’s work. The background of the certification program and the use of volunteers and certified amateurs on an archaeological project is discussed. We consider the value of such participation from the point of view of both amateur and professional archaeologists. The Nine Mile Survey 1989 was an interesting test of the certification program and the experience that we gained may be useful to others who are planning similar projects.
  •  A Fluted Point from Clear Creek Canyon, Central Utah by Vonn Larsen 
    A fluted projectile point fragment was found near the juncture of Clear Creek and Single Creek Canyon in central Utah on July 16, 1989. Although fragmented, the point appears morphologically similar to Clovis styles found in Utah (Copeland and Fike 1988, Davis 1989). Sourcing of the artifact was pursued with the approval of the United States Forest Service (USFS) on whose property the point was found. After sourcing and photographing, the point was sent to Bob Leonard to be housed at the Fremont Indian State Park near Richfield.  A few days after the discovery, Bob Leonard, the Fish Lake Forest archaeologist, and Jeri DeYoung, an archaeologist trainee with the United States Forest Service from Weber State University, accompanied me to the site location. Later I was informed that the point was found within the boundaries of a previously recorded site (42Sv1779). Trail Mountain Rockshelter (Janetski et al. 1985) is located 100 m to the south and a number of other sites are in the area (Robert W. Leonard, personal communication 1989).