Utah Professional

Archaeological Council


2003: Vol 16 No 1

Utah Archaeology 2003, Volume 17, Number 1

Full Text of Issue


  •  Message from the Editor by Steven Simms


  • Ceramic Production, Fremont Foragers, and the Late Archaic Prehistory of the North-Central Great Basin by Bryan Hockett and Maury Morgenstein
    Recent excavations at the Scorpion Ridge site, combined with chemical and petrographic analyses of the ceramic sherds recovered from that site and others in the area, suggest that Fremont plain wares were locally manufactured in the Upper Humboldt drainage by at least 1200 B.P. Thus, local ceramic production in portions of the central Great Basin occurred at least seven centuries earlier than the initial manufacture of Intermountain Brownware. Nevertheless, all of the Fremont and Intermountain Brownware ceramic samples analyzed here from the Upper Humboldt drainage basin were tempered with a schistose biotite granodiorite that contrasts with the monzonite temper found in plain wares from Ruby Valley, located on the east side of the Ruby Mountains. Fremont wares from the west Bonneville Basin region were tempered with materials unlike those of the Upper Humboldt River basin, and at least one of these vessels was probably manufactured in central or southern Utah. The projectile points from Scorpion Ridge include Nawthis Side-notched, and this may be the oldest and northernmost occurrence of this type found to date. The relationship of the inhabitants of the Scorpion Ridge site to farmers inhabiting the Fremont core region is uncertain, but it once stretched into the central Great Basin.

  • Commodity Flow and National Market Access: Historical Archaeology in Salt Lake County by Jakob D. Crocket
    The Commodity Flow Model is an effective method for predicting the composition of late nineteenth and early twentieth century household assemblages. By utilizing a supply-side economic perspective, observed archaeological patterns are firmly linked to the culturally derived variable of market access, increasing our understanding of the spatial distribution of household consumer goods. Through an alternate application of the model, a new and successful method for determining changes in consumer preference for locally manufactured household goods is demonstrated. By way of intersite comparisons, a new pattern of changes in the national market is revealed. Primary data come from two early twentieth century trash deposits located in Salt Lake County, Utah (Seddon 2001)
  • The Botanical Parts of the Patterson Bundle: An Herbalist’s Discovery* by Merry Lycett Harrison and photographs by Jim Blazik
    In the early 1980s, Thompson’s Springs residents Bryce and Margaret Patterson were hiking in a remote area of the Book Cliffs near Green River, Utah, when they noticed a thin strand of leather under a knee-high rock ledge. Margaret dug around it to see what it was and followed it through soil and layers of juniper bark to discover a large, leather wrapped bundle that she took home. The Pattersons kept it for several years and Margaret explained to me that she tried to keep all the contents intact. After Bryce’s passing, Margaret gave the bundle to U.S. Bureau of Land Management Moab Field Archaeologist, Bruce Louthan. My interest in the Patterson Bundle was sparked when I noticed one of these smaller bundles in the display case. It appeared to contain roots. As a trained clinical herbalist who harvests roots of wild plants to use in my pharmacy, my curiosity was piqued. I obtained permission from Louthan to more closely examine this grouping and knew at first glance that one of the roots was from osha, Ligusticum porteri, that grows in the mountains near Moab. It is a very potent medicinal herb that I use to help relieve respiratory symptoms. I wondered if the other roots could be from such useful medicinal plants. Permission to study the contents of the Patterson Bundle came with the stipulation that I report my findings to the BLM. My primary focus would be to try to identify the botanical parts. The results of my research were first published in Harrison (2002).
  • Pump Organ Reeds: Archaeology, History, and Music Come Together at the Frary Site by Ronald J. Rood
    Archaeological testing on Antelope Island State Park at a small homestead known as the Frary Site produced several metal artifacts linking one small but significant aspect of homestead life to the archaeological and historical record. In the case of the Frary Site and these particular small metal artifacts, archaeology and history come together under a tangible and familiar aspect of many people’s lives: music. Whether performed by professionals, garage bands, a church choir, or played and sung around the house or campfire with family and friends, music is something most of us can appreciate. Although a review of the archaeological evidence for musical instruments is beyond the topic at hand, the first musical instrument used by the earliest humans may have been one rock bashed against another in a repeated rhythm. The oldest dated musical instruments in the world were found at the early Neolithic site of Jiahu in China, where six nearly complete flutes and fragments of 30 more were dated to almost 9,000 years ago (Zhang et al. 1999), Since the dawn of humanity, music has likely been an important aspect of human life.
  • Great Salt Lake V-Edge Cobbles by Dann J. Russell
    Some ground stone pieces recovered from excavated sites on the northeastern shoreline of Great Salt Lake appear to exhibit a unique ground edge. Personal observations during the Great Salt Lake Wetlands Project and the Willard Burial Recovery revealed a large number of stones with this same edge. My aim here is to better document these artifacts by summarizing the existing information, provide photographs and illustrations, and discuss some possibilities for the use of these artifacts.
  • The Desha Caves: Radiocarbon Dating and Coprolite Analysis by Phil R. Geib and Michael R. Robins
    In the summer of 1930, Irwin Hayden excavated two caves along the east side of Desha Canyon, then known as Cornfield Canyon, on the northern edge of the Rainbow Plateau in southeast Utah. His excavation of Desha Caves 1 and 2 was part of the Van Bergen Expedition of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. The expedition also excavated at the large Tsegi Phase (late Pueblo III) site of Segazlin Mesa (see Lindsay et al. 1968). Rumor has it that Byron Cummings, who dug on Segazlin Mesa previously, was displeased to find outsiders working on ‘his’ site and sent the expedition packing. Excavation of the two caves ensued; evidently they were unclaimed or of little interest to Cummings. Both sites produced artifacts similar to those described by Guernsey and Kidder (1921; Kidder and Guernsey 1919) from Basketmaker II caves near Kayenta, Arizona. Allan Schilz (1979) incorporated Irwin Hayden’s (1930) unpublished manuscript on the two caves into a Master’s thesis, in which he presented an analysis of the recovered remains. Because Schilz did not radiocarbon date any artifacts or other remains for his study, the age of Basketmaker occupancy of both sites remained unknown, but was assumed to fall within the first half millennium of the Christian era. With the revelation that Basketmaker II remains from the type sites of White Dog Cave and Kinboko Caves 1 and 2 are as old as 600 cal B.C. (Smiley et al. 1986; Smiley 1994:Table 1), there was reason to suspect similar antiquity for the Desha Caves. The age of the Basketmaker remains at both sites has relevance for our broader understanding of the Archaic-Formative transition on the Colorado Plateau and in this specific case for the transition on the Rainbow Plateau as it relates to a moderate-size excavation project along the Navajo Mountain road, N16 (Geib et al. 2003). The N16 excavations included 17 open sites with Basketmaker II components. We were interested in learning the temporal relationship between the rockshelter-using Basketmaker II and the open sites we had excavated along the road right-of-way.

  • An Apparent Case of Treponemal Disease in a Human Burial from the Northern Great Salt Lake by Silvia E. Smith, Buck Benson, and Patricia M. Lambert  
    The skeleton of a male adult with layered, bony lesions on most of his arm and leg bones was recovered near Willard Bay during salvage excavations conducted by Utah State University in October, 2001 (Lambert and Simms 2003). One of a number of complete or partial skeletons found eroding from lake bed deposits at 42B01071, Burial 1 was one of five individuals discovered in Area 1. A second male adult from this area (Burial 2), also had superficial (periosteal) bone lesions on a couple of leg bones. The proximity of the burials to each other and the similarity of their lesions suggest that both men may have been affected with the same disease. Although previous researchers have reported periosteal lesions in human skeletal remains from other locations in the Great Basin (Larsen and Hutchinson 1999; Nelson 1999), none has ever specifically identified a disease that might account for these lesions. The purpose of this paper is threefold: 1) to review the osteological evidence for disease in these two individuals; 2) to explore the possibility that bone lesions in these individuals were caused by treponematosis, an infectious disease widely documented elsewhere in prehistoric North America; and 3) to investigate why a disease such as treponematosis might be present in the Willard Bay sample but not in others from the Great Basin region.
  • Kaibabitsinungwu: An Archaeological Sample Survey of the Kaiparowits Plateau, reviewed by Alan D. Reed
  •  Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points of the Southwestern United States and Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points of California and the Great Basin, reviewed by Pat Paeper
  •  Tracing the Past: Archaeology Along the Rocky Mountain Expansion Loop Pipeline, reviewed by Ronald J. Rood