Utah Professional

Archaeological Council


2008: Vol 21 No 1

Utah Archaeology 2008, Volume 21, Number 1

Full Text of Issue


  • Message from the Editors 
    The 2008 issue marks the 20th anniversary of Utah Archaeology.


  • In the Beginning by David B. Madsen
    The publication of Utah Archaeology in 1988 resulted from a sustained growth of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society and creation of the Utah Professional Archaeological Council following the creation of a state Antiquities Section and the office of the state archaeologist in 1973. After the demise of the state funded publication series Antiquities Section Selected Papers due to budgetary constraints, these amateur and professional organizations recognized the need for a privately funded publication that could report work carried out by their members. The publication series is a product of a vibrant and coherent archaeological community responding to its own needs in a unified fashion.

  • Trends and Such in Utah Archaeology - A Personal View by Joel C. Janetski
    In the past half century archaeology in Utah has evolved from a university-centered pursuit dominated by individual research interests and personalities to a highly diverse discipline driven by legislative mandates and federal funds. Graduates in the field are far more likely to get a job and more likely to get a job in some agency, federal or state, than in an academic setting. They will deal with consultation, contracts, and curation more than excavation, and university classes have to cover legislative acts as much as theory and world prehistory. These changes have resulted in many benefits including a greater understanding of Utah s human history. To continue making such contributions archaeologists must retain core values and encourage public-oriented projects and publications as these are critical to the future of archaeology in the 21st century.

  • Potsherds and People:  A Brief History of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society by Mark E. Stuart
    The purpose of this paper is to present a brief history of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society (USAS) from its earliest beginning to the present. It chronicles some of the society’s successes and mishaps as well as documents the importance of USAS to the understanding of Utah prehistory. It acknowledges the help and support of many people, both professional archaeologists and lay amateurs, in donating many hours of service and monetary resources in the quest for understanding the past. Support and growth of USAS is important for documenting and preserving the archaeological resources of Utah.

  • Utah’s Rock Art and the Role URARA has Taken Toward its Preservation by Nina Bowen and Troy Scotter
    The Utah Rock Art Research Association (URARA) has grown from a small organization established in 1979 to an organization with over 400 members today. During that time its purpose and mission have changed significantly.  URARA started as a way for a group of friends to enjoy each others' company and to share information about the then relatively little known field of rock art. As popular interest in rock art and archeology grew, membership increased Starting in the early 2000 s URARA members expressed increasing concern about preservation issues. In the 2003 Green River symposium the membership voted to undertake activities to protect Nine Mile Canyon. Around the same time the URARA Board grew concerned about the size and impact of field trips to archaeological sites and created an ethics policy to address the issue. Today URARA has built a strong preservationist core onto its other activities.

  • Writ Large:  Archaeological Theory and Method In Utah by K. Renee Barlow
    For the last two decades, archaeological research in Utah has been dominated by Steward's cultural ecology, Binford's middle-range theory, and evolutionary ecology. These paradigms have been employed to develop new methodologies and economic models and have contributed to our understanding of past diet, mobility, foraging and farming strategies, and resource processing and discard behavior. Key research areas include variability in diet and mobility, ethnoarchaeological and experimental studies and their implications for site structure and discard behavior, faunal analysis and taphonomic studies, Fremont Studies, Numic studies, and chronological issues.

  • Human Ecology and Social Theory in Utah Archaeology by James R. Allison
    Utah includes portions of both the Southwest and Great Basin culture areas. Although many Utah archaeologists work in both areas, most have a tendency to focus on one or the other. Southwestern and Great Basin archaeology have developed different research traditions, with large differences in what are considered mainstream theoretical approaches in each region. Southwestern archaeologists usually focus on small-scale horticulturalists, while Great Basin archaeologists more often emphasize hunter-gatherer archaeology. Despite the evidence that horticulture was important to Fremont peoples, archaeologists studying the Fremont have often relied on theoretical concepts and assumptions that emphasize human ecology and are rooted in Great Basin hunter-gatherer studies. Human ecology has been important in studying Southwestern horticulturalists, but Southwestern archaeologists have employed more socially oriented theoretical approaches that have been highly successful in documenting a history of social and adaptive change. In contrast, the predominantly ecological bent of Fremont studies has led to a focus on variability in subsistence and settlement strategies with relatively little attention to temporal change, and descriptions of subsistence and settlement variability have sometimes been exaggerated beyond what the archaeological record supports. Fremont studies would benefit from consideration of a broader range of theoretical approaches and a combination of ecological and social perspectives.

  • A Personal Perspective on the IMACS Site Form and the Next Generation of a Utah Site Database by Alan R. Schroedl
    The Intermountain Antiquities Computer System (IMA CS) site form has been the cornerstone of site recording in Utah and some of the surrounding states for more than 30 years. The history and utility of this paper-based site form is discussed in relation to 21st century database technology. The paper concludes with a dictum, based on decades of observation, about archaeological site recording in general.

  • Comment on Alan R. Schroedl’s “A Personal  Perspective on the IMACS Site Form and the Next Generation of a Utah Site Database” by Arie Leeflang and Kevin T. Jones
    Alan Schroedl has written an interesting and insightful history of the IMACS system and offers some thoughtful suggestions for improving the system. We welcome the opportunity to provide some additional information and address some of the significant issues raised.

  • Balance by Kevin T. Jones
    The legal protections afforded archaeological and cultural sites are regularly examined by legislators and representatives of those affected by the statues to determine if the strictures might be too harsh and be hindering development. Sometimes these examinations result in attempts to realign the statutes, to make them less restrictive, to bring them into "balance." This essay discusses the notion of balance in cultural resource protection, and illustrates some of the w0's special interests seek to reconcile the seemingly conflicting goals of development and preservation. Examples are drawn primarily from recent attempts to alter the balance of cultural resource protection in Utah.

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: An Essay Exploring Recent Legislative Changes to Cultural Resource Law in Utah by Lori Hunsaker and Kelly Beck
    Our insights regarding Utah s archaeological foundations have a shallower time depth relative to several of the other contributors to this special volume; as such, our intent in this essay is to address issues that have come about and continue to be viable during our more recent tenures as Presidents of the Utah Professional Archaeological Council (UPAC), namely, the changes that occurred in 2006 with the passage of House Bill 139 (HB 139). We will share our unique perspectives as some of the individuals tasked with implementing changes mandated by HB 139 and as individuals employed by the Public Lands Policy Coordination Office (PLPCO) to ensure that these changes result in positive effects for how cultural resources are managed in Utah.

  • The Miracle of CRM on Trust Lands by Kenneth L. Wintch
    Cultural resource management was extended to Utah school and institutional trust lands a couple of years after this journals birth. From my perspective, this development is the most positive event to occur in Utah government/ politics during the last two decades and beyond (i.e., since the early 1970's). The way that this particular development occurred, however, is both historically interesting and instructive about what factors are required to gain agency compliance-both at the beginning (i.e., as agency management decides to begin to comply with relevant statute) and thereafter.

  • The Past and Future of Cultural Resource Management Practice in Utah by Elizabeth Perry, Matthew Seddon, and Heather Stettler
    Engagement of the public in the practice of cultural resource management (CRM) has the potential to expand our understanding of archaeological heritage in Utah. While the professional CRM community tends to focus on documenting and protecting archaeological sites, incorporating a wider range of interests can enrich our practice, and enable us to return the value of these sites to the public. In this paper we examine the current practice of cultural resource management archaeology in the state, focusing on factors that have led to a good system for identifying sites that appears to be coupled with a poor system for assessing the values of these sites. We provide suggestions for changes to the structure of CRM practice and the approach which could lead to a better assessment of the value of archaeology for Utah.

  • Archaeology’s Bottom Line:  Making It Mean Something by Richard K. Talbot
    As archaeologists, we need to do better in fulfilling our commitment to cultural resources, to the public, and to each other. The archaeological community in general has diversified into a triad of professional subgroups: agency archaeologists, academicians, and consultants. These subgroups often have conflicting priorities and allegiances. While public curiosity about archaeology remains high, our collective influence in cultural resource protection and research is eroding. We need a return to earlier joint efforts to promote archaeology to the public, to agencies, and to clients. We also need to better support each other through more effective data sharing and use. Our bottom line should always be to make archaeology important to everyone, to make it mean something.