Utah Professional

Archaeological Council


2000: Vol 13 No 1

Utah Archaeology 2000, Volume 13, Number 1

Full Text of Issue


  • Message from the Editors by Steven Simms and Randy Jones


  • Osteoarthritis, Mobility and Adaptive Diversity Among the Great Salt Lake Fremont by Emily Brunson
    This study examines adaptive diversity in a prehistoric Fremont population from the Great Salt Lake wetlands, using the prevalence, severity, and patterning of osteoarthritis as a key to understanding mobility in this population. Findings suggest that a pattern of low residential mobility, supplemented by logistical activities of males existed across the sample. In relation to other groups from the Great Basin, the Great Salt Lake sample expresses slightly lower levels of osteoarthritis, although the difference is more apparent among the females. It is likely that they were slightly more tethered to residential bases than their Great Basin counterparts.
  • The Arroyo Site, 42KA3976: Archaic Level Investigations by Douglas A. McFadden
    A recent flood episode in a minor tributary of Kitchen Corral Wash in central Kane County exposed extensive buried Virgin Anasazi deposits and features dating to the late Pueblo II/early Pueblo III period. Located stratigraphically beneath the Anasazi horizon were a series of charcoal lenses and surfaces that were investigated in profile only. Two of these surfaces yielded radiocarbon dates circa 3,800 B.P. Evidence is presented that suggest these underlying features represent a shallow Late Archaic pithouse that preceded later Formative developments.


  • Osborne Russell Encounters a Wolverine by Dann J. Russell
    As a student doing post-graduate studies at Weber State University in the mid 1970s, I remember looking at an oil painting in the Student Union Building by Farrell R. Collet of a mountain man having an encounter with a wolverine. I didn’t give it much thought until several years later. Then, because of my interest in mountain men and current day reenactments of their rendezvous, I obtained a copy of a Journal of a Trapper, edited by Aubrey L. Haines. This book contained the journal of Osborne Russell, a trapper in the Rocky Mountains and eastern Great Basin during the early to mid 1800s. In my reading, I came across an encounter that Mr. Russell had with a wolverine on February 4, 1841. This event was apparently so significant to him that he devoted several pages to it. I later learned that Mr. Collet’s painting was depicting this event documented in Osborne’s journal. The painting is now on loan to the Weber County Commissioner’s Office in downtown Ogden. Having been born and raised in Ogden within walking distance of the mouth of Ogden Canyon, and having spent many summers in the surrounding foothills, Osborne’s description of the area caused me to reflect on my wanderings there. Since then a question has echoed through my mind. Where was Osborne Russell camped on February 3, 1841, the day before he faced the wolverine? To attempt to determine where he was on this day, his travels and activities just prior to this time will be examined from his writings. Russell often described his travels and surroundings in great detail. In so doing, not only will the examination point out possible locations where he had his encounter with the wolverine, it will point out that he was in the vicinity of locations known today in the Ogden Valley. Even more important archaeologically, it will point out some of the wildlife and Native Americans that made the Ogden Valley their home in the early 1800s, and even climatic conditions that existed at this time.
  • Pottery Reconstruction by David Jabusch and Susan Jabusch
    Avocational archaeologists seem fascinated by pottery reconstruction, but professionals are less so. This may reflect the contrast between non-professionals’ interest in artifacts and professionals’ focus on the information they represent. Published works on archaeological ceramics include detailed discussions on construction, curation and analyses, but no treatment of reconstruction (e.g. Olin and Franklin 1982; Shepard 1956). In any case, we have been privileged to gain experience with the reconstruction of pottery vessels while working at Petra, Jordan and in various Utah laboratories. This paper identifies some of the reasons for and against reconstruction, and describes some of the techniques we’ve learned over the years.


  • A Final Tabulation of Sites Recorded in the Greater Glen Canyon Area by the University of Utah During the Glen Canyon Project by Alan R. Schroedl and Daniel K. Newsome 
    The Glen Canyon Project was, and still is, the largest cultural resource management project ever completed in Utah. Jennings’s (1966) summary of the Glen Canyon Project indicates that more than 2000 sites in southern Utah and northern Arizona were recorded by the University of Utah as part of the project between 1956 and 1963. A literature review, archival research, and a file search completed as part of a database compilation project demonstrate that fewer than 1700 archaeological and historical sites were actually recorded by the University of Utah between 1956 and 1963. More recent inventory data suggest that there were biases in the field recording procedures during the Glen Canyon Project. In the 1950s and 1960s, the University of Utah (UU), the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA), the University of New Mexico (UNM), and the University of Colorado (UC), in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), performed archaeological and historical investigations in the Upper Colorado River Basin region in response to the threat of cultural resource losses posed by the construction of several dams in the region.  This project was collectively and officially called the Upper Colorado River Basin Archeological Salvage Program (UCRBASP). The UC worked at Curecanti Reservoir, the UNM at Navajo Reservoir, MNA in Glen Canyon, and the UU in western and southern Utah, eastern Colorado, southwestern Wyoming, and northeastern Arizona. Most of the UU investigations were conducted in southern Utah in response to the plans for the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. The portion of the UCRBASP project conducted by the UU and MNA in southern Utah and northern Arizona became known colloquially as the Glen Canyon Project (GCP). In his final summary of the Glen Canyon Project, Jennings (1966:43) reports “the precise location of over 2000 [archaeological] sites is now known.” However, a complete tabulation of sites recorded by the UU and MNA was never prepared during the GCP. In 1998, P-III Associates, Inc., compiled management data on all the archaeological and historical sites investigated by the UU on the GCP. MNA is currently compiling a similar database for sites originally investigated by its teams on the GCP.
  • Site 42DC823: Evidence for High Elevation Foraging in the Unita Mountains by Robyn Watkins
    High elevation archaeological research in the Southern Rocky Mountains focuses on the evidence of game drives and hunting blinds (J. Benedict 1975; Cassels 1995; Hutchinson 1990). The occurrence of ground stone tools in the mountains, although noted (Black 1982:104-105; Buckles 1978: 247; Metcalf and Black 1985:22) has not generated much research. Ground stone use is documented for prehistoric plant processing in lowland areas, but some archaeologists argue that ground stone was not used for plant processing in upland areas (J. Benedict 1991). In order to test if plants were being processed on high elevation ground stone, plant remains (pollens/phytolith/macrofloral) need to be found in association with the ground stone. Ashley National Forest archaeologists have recorded eleven sites with ground stone above 3,080 m (10,000 ft) during limited surveys. This report describes the evidence for high altitude plant utilization from test excavations done in 1999 at site 42DC823, located in the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah. Located at an elevation of 3,182 m (10,440 ft) in the Chepeta Lake drainage, the site is a large lithic scatter with ground stone and firepit/ hearth features. Originally, I hypothesized that plant remains from high elevation plants such as Lewisia pygmae and Polygonum bistotoides would be identified. Neither plant was identified, however, pollen analysis of a buried piece of ground stone and several features reveal interesting possibilities about the prehistoric use of the Uinta Mountains.
  • Early Archaic Square-Stem Dart Points from Southeastern Utah by Phil R. Geib
    The third and final season of excavations at Old Man Cave in southeastern Utah (Geib and Davidson 1994) resulted in the unanticipated recovery of square-stem dart points in association with open-twined sandals from early Archaic deposits. These points are reminiscent of Gypsum or Gatecliff Contracting Stem points, which are securely dated to the late Archaic for both the Colorado Plateau and Great Basin, sometime after about 3000 cal. B.C. (see Holmer 1978, 1986; Tipps [1995:52] proposes a beginning date of about 3500 cal. B.C.). The points from Old Man Cave lack the tapered stem of Gypsum points and are thus morphologically distinctive. Nevertheless, had they been found in other circumstances, I likely would have assumed that they were late Archaic in age, characterizing them as sort of Gypsum variant. Indeed, the Old Man Cave specimens are virtually indistinguishable from some of the Gatecliff Contracting Stem points from Hidden Cave. Most significantly, the stemmed specimens from Old Man Cave retain evidence of hafting pitch identical to pitch remnants seen on the stems of Gypsum/Gatecliff points from cave sites (e.g., Holmer 1980a:Fig. 17i, m, n). The traces of mastic indicate that the Old Man Cave specimens, like Gypsum/ Gatecliff points, were “glued” to dart foreshafts instead of tied on with sinew. The square-stem points from Old Man Cave are associated with open-twined sandals, which are early Archaic diagnostics. To be certain of their temporal placement, two samples were radiocarbon dated: grass stems from around one of the points, and pitch on the base of another point. Radiocarbon dates on the grass stems of 7300±100 B.P. and 7340±60B.P. on the pitch confirm their stratigraphic assignment to the early Archaic. These points demonstrate that the practice of gluing dart points to foreshafts instead of tying them on with sinew began thousands of years earlier than previously thought for a portion of the Colorado Plateau. Given that several millennia separate the points reported here from Gypsum/Gatecliff points, the technological shift to adhesive hafting seen in the late Archaic may still lack local precedent. This report describes and illustrates the points, presents the results of radiocarbon dating, and discusses some implications of the findings.


  • Ants for Breakfast: Archaeological Adventures among the Kalinga, reviewed by Clay Johnson
  • Canyoneering: The San Rafael Swell, reviewed by Mark E. Stuart
  • Intermountain Archaeology, reviewed by Kae McDonald
  • Time, Trees, and Prehistory: Tree-Ring Dating and the Development of North American Archaeology, 1914 to 1950, reviewed by Michael S. Berry
  • Reply to Review by Michael S. Berry, by Stephen E. Nash