Utah Professional

Archaeological Council


1991: Vol 4 No 1

Utah Archaeology 1991, Volume 4, Number 1

 Full Text of Issue



  • Paleo-Indian Occupation in the Eastern Great Basin And Northern Colorado Plateau by Alan R. Schroedl
    A review of Paleo-Indian data from throughout Utah suggests that there were differences in the lithic technology and settlement and subsistence patterns between Paleo-Indian groups in the eastern Great Basin and the northern Colorado Plateau. Discussions of Paleo-Indian terminology, projectile point types, and evidence of subsistence patterns are presented. Differences between the Paleo-Indian occupation in the eastern Great Basin and the northern Colorado Plateau are discussed.


  • Sand Dune Side-Notched: An Early Archaic Projectile Point Type of the Northern Colorado Plateau by Phil R. Geib and J. Richard Ambler
    Tipps et al. (1989:89-92) recently designated a tentative early Archaic point type for the Northern Colorado Plateau: Sand Dune Side-notched. The type was proposed to provide a named category for a shallowly side-notched dart point recovered from the surface of Salt Pocket Shelter (42Sa17092) in Canyonlands National Park, Utah (Figure 1), and for three similar points recovered from Sand Dune Cave in southern Utah (Lindsay et al. 1968:44), hence, the type name. The purpose of this report is to present additional data about this proposed point type, specifically with regard to temporal placement, geographical distribution, and production technology.
  • Split-Twig Figurines, Early Maize, and a Child Burial in East-Central Utah by Stephen C. Jett
    Archaic Period figurines made of willow and other split twigs, found in caves in the Greater Southwest, have not only received the attention of scholars but have also captured the popular imagination to a significant degree (see Agenbroad 1990:27; Jacka and Jacka 1988: 102-03; Jett 1987; Jones and Euler 1979:1-4; Kelsey 1987:95, 97; Smith and Turner 1975:23; Schwartz [1989]:17-23, back cover; Thybony and Bean 1988:6). Split-twig figurines have appeared on postcards, one has become the cover logo of The Journal of Ethnobiology and another the logo of the Museum of Northern Arizona Collector’s Club. The effigies have inspired such diverse popular objects as andirons at Grand Canyon National Park and women’s earrings (Plateau Expressions 1989). And at the behest of a Flagstaff, Arizona, crafts dealer, some Havasupai have been making replica split-twig figurines during the last few years. One also may mention pictographs recently discovered on the northern side of the Grand Canyon that look very much like split-twig figurines (Allen n.d.:Figure 8b; Mary Allen, personal communication 1988; Schaafsma 1990). Despite the interest and activity of the archaeological community (see references in Jett 1987; Pierson 1980; and Schroedl 1988), none of these objects has been reported in any kind of specific archaeological context or associated with other diagnostic artifacts in a way that could reveal much about the cultural affiliations or functions of the objects. Some years ago it was proposed that most of the figurines from Arizona, California, and Nevada date from the second and third millennia B.C., and were used in sympathetic hunting magic, while those from the Utah Canyonlands region wer4e children’s toys, dating from around the time of Christ (Schroedl 1977). However, the evidence for the latter use was circumstantial and the conclusions speculative.
  • Preliminary Report on Aspen Shelter: An Upland Deer Hunting Camp on the Old Woman Plateau by Joel C. Janetski, Richard Crosland, and James D. Wilde
    During the summers of 1989, 1990, and 1991 archaeologists from the Office of Public Archaeology (OPA) at Brigham Young University in cooperation with the United States Forest Service excavated at Aspen Shelter (42SvI365) in central Utah. Support for the project was also provided by volunteer efforts from members of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society from several chapters. This work was done under the direction of OPA archaeologists Joel C. Janetski and James D. Wilde. Crews worked for six weeks in 1989, three weeks in 1990 and two weeks in 1991. The site contained evidence of sporadic use as a hunting camp from about 4,000 years ago well into the Fremont era. The lowest cultural level contained two basin-shaped house floors-the earliest remains of domestic structures yet found in Utah.
  • Archaeological Evidence of Prehistoric Fishing at Utah Lake by Rick J. Hunter
    Utah Lake in the eastern Great Basin, has long been known as a major fishery that was important to prehistoric peoples. However, we have little in the way of prehistoric fishing gear to support this statement. This is surprising, especially when compared with western (Lahontan) Basin fisheries such as Pyramid and Winnemucca lakes, where archaeologists have documented an abundance of prehistoric fishing equipment (cf. Tuohy 1990). Utah Lake, however, has only recently become the focus of researchers studying various wetland subsistence strategies. The principal objective of this paper is to serve as an introduction to ongoing research geared toward understanding the fishing technologies employed at Utah Lake in the prehistoric past and to present examples of early fishing gear recently recovered from lake edge sites.
  • Experiments on Artifact Displacement in Canyonlands National Park by Ralph J. Hartley
    The present study reports an empirical investigation of artifact behavior in Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah. The park lies within the Canyonlands physiographic division of the Colorado Plateau, formed by the drainage system of the Colorado and Green rivers (see Hunt 1974; Stokes 1977). The area is characterized as having a cold, middle-latitude, semi-arid climate. Most of the soil is shallow, dry and without distinct horizons. Many areas have less than 20 inches to bedrock although some areas are deeper. Eolian deposits cover several areas in this region. Eight different microenvironments that vary in geomorphological position, but which are influenced by similar climatological factors were chosen for experiments on the displacement of lithic materials. These field experiments took place in the Island-in-the-Sky district of the park. This mesa north of the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers lies at an elevation of 1,500-1,800 m.
  • Further Experiments in Native Food Procurement by Kevin T. Jones and David B. Madsen
    Over the last decade, a number of experimental studies on the costs and benefits of collecting and processing a variety of native food resources have been conducted in the Great Basin and adjoining areas (e.g., Fowler and Walter 1985; Jones 1981; Larralde and Chandler 1980; Madsen and Kirkman 1988; Simms 1984). The goal of most of these is to collect data on resource return rates-the amount of edible food or energy that could be obtained in a given amount of time. These values are expressed as a ratio, such as calories per hour. Return rates for different resources can be compared and ranked, giving insight into the energetic efficiency with which various resources can be harvested. Most of this work is guided by foraging theory and related models (see Charnov and Orians 1973; Pyke et al. 1977; Simms 1987; Smith 1983; Stephens and Krebs 1986). Experimental return rates are now available for 30 collected resources from the Great Basin, and estimated return rates for a variety of hunted resources have also been produced (Simms 1984). Many of these rates are based on a single, or few experiments of limited duration and in a limited array of circumstances. We know, however, that a range of variation in the productivity, nutritional content, ease of harvesting, individual gathering and processing ability, and other factors is present (e.g., Madsen and Kirkman 1988). This variation is to be expected, and is an important facet of data to be considered when using return rate in modeling subsistence. We encourage additional experimentation on native resources, including resources for which information is currently unavailable. In the following sections we present some information relevant to understanding the range of variation in some Great Basin resources. We report on experimental gathering of the Mormon Cricket (Anabrus simplex), and present the results of additional experiments on cattail (Typha latifolia) rhizomes and Indian Ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides) seeds.


  • Fluted Projectile Points in Southwestern Utah by Robert B. Kohl
    Copeland and Fike (1988) published their comprehensive paper, Report on Fluted Points in Utah, in UTAH ARCHAEOLOGY 1988. Their research of published and unpublished reports and interviews with professional archaeologists and some private collectors identified 43 Clovis and Folsom projectile points in the state. Only two Clovis and three Folsom points were recorded in southwestern Utah, most of them in Bureau of Land Management files and few in private collections. The Jennifer Jack-Dixie Chapter of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society initiated a project to seek out privately-held Paleo points within an approximate 65-mile radius of St. George. A grant was awarded to the chapter by the Utah Division of State History for the project with 50 percent or more of the grant amount to be matched by local cash outlay. With the exception of hourly rate paid for the drawings, all other time was voluntary.
  • Some Calibrated Radiocarbon Dates from Utah County, Utah by Donald W. Forsyth
    Over the last 45 years archaeologists at Brigham Young University have sporadically undertaken a number of excavations on the east side of Utah Lake in the region near the modern airport and in the southern portion of Utah Valley near Goshen, Utah. The results of these excavations have only been partially reported, primarily in master’s theses (Christensen 1947; Green 1961; Mock 1971; Richens 1983); however a few preliminary reports or articles (Green 1964; Forsyth 1984; 1986) have also been published. However, since there were few chronometric dates for these sites, I decided to take a number of the samples and send them to Beta Analytic Inc. for assay in order to try to establish a chronological framework for the sties on the basis of something other than cross-dating with other Fremont sites. The sites for which dates were obtained are 42Ut110 and 42 Ut111 (two of the Hinckley Mounds) 42Ut102 (Woodard Mound), 42Ut150 (Smoking Pipe), Spotten Cave (42Ut104), and 42Ut271 (Seamons Mound). The results of the C14 analyses are given in Table 1.
  • Antiquities Section, Division of State History, List of Reports with 1991 Project Numbers by Kevin T. Jones
    All archaeological organizations holding an antiquities permit issued by the Antiquities Section and who carry out archaeological projects in the state are obliged to: (1) obtain a project number from the Antiquities Section and (2) submit a report on the work done. The following is a list of reports received by the Antiquities Section, Division of State History, for projects with 1991 available to researchers holding a current Utah Antiquities Annual Permit.


  • Wetland Adaptations in the Great Basin, edited by Joel C. Janetski and David B. Madsen, reviewed by Mark E. Stuart
  • The Student’s Guide to Archaeological Illustrating,  reviewed by Robert B. Kohl
  • Indian Givers, reviewed by Robert B. Kohl