Utah Professional

Archaeological Council


2010: Vol 23 No 1

Utah Archaeology 2010 Volume 23, Number 1

Full Text of Issue



  • Detecting the Ghost Road of the Uintas: The Carter Military Road, By Byron Loosle
    Between 2004 and the 2011 the Forest Service sponsored a series of Passport in Time projects and other research activities on the Carter Military Road, an 1880’s era supply route that crossed the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. This article reports the results of the 2004 through 2007 projects when experienced metal detecting volunteers and Forest Service personnel were able to identify and map several road segments, nine military construction camps, a government sawmill, two civilian occupations, and other features of the Carter Military Road. Each camp search had its unique challenges and a few examples are highlighted to illustrate the value of the collaboration of metal detecting, historical research, and archaeological techniques. A variety of military items (buttons, insignias, cartridges) and mundane artifacts (cut nails) helped us identify the military camps used in 1882-83 and to distinguish these camps from contemporary civilian cabins.

  • Entertainment By John D. Lee’: Excavations and History at Fort Harmony, Utah, By David T. Yoder, B. Jacob Skousen, and Deborah C. Harris
    The establishment of Fort Harmony in 1854 created an outpost that helped contribute to the settlement of southern Utah. The primary residence of John Dee Lee during the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the fort stood for eight years until its collapse due to wet weather in January of 1862. In 2007, the Office of Public Archaeology at Brigham Young University, with help from local volunteers, performed preliminary test excavations at the site. The comparison of historic records to the archaeological data offers  interesting insights into the construction and use of the fort.

  • Pursuing Their American Dreams: The Residents of Benmore and Tintic Junction, Utah, By Jennifer A. Beard
    Surface data from the dry farming town of Benmore, when compared to surface and excavation data from the railroading town of Tintic Junction, give insight into how two groups of people, pursued their own American Dreams. The data suggest that the residents of Benmore sought partially to operate outside of the capitalist economy of the early Twentieth Century. This comparison provides means to evaluate the utility of householding theory when studying homestead sites throughout the American West. It identifies the extent to which the residents of Benmore were householding as a community in an effort to maintain their farms in a marginal dry farming environment rather than abandoning the town for wage labor jobs.

  • Cactus Processing in the St. George Basin, Washington County, Utah, By Suzanne Eskenazi and Heidi Roberts
    In April 2009, HRA conducted data recovery investigations at site 42Ws4832, located on land owned by the State of Utah, School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration near Bloomington, Utah. The site contained eight slab-lined thermal features, which were visible on the surface only as fire-cracked rock scatters. The site is situated in an area containing few resources except cactus. HRA hypothesized that cactus species were the likely subsistence focus of the site’s prehistoric occupants, and the pollen record suggests that cholla, prickly pear, grass seeds, and Cheno-ams were processed in the features. Radiocarbon samples returned dates of 990±15 BP and 1175±15 BP. HRA conducted experimental cholla roasting in the fully excavated features and sent the roasted cholla for nutritional analysis. This paper discusses the findings of the data recovery, the cholla roasting, and the nutritional analysis.

  • Toolstone Quarry Exploitation Decisions in the Northeastern Great Basin, By Dale R. Earl
    The decision that prehistoric foragers made about which toolstone quarries to exploit is an intriguing subject for archaeologists. Here, a model of behavioral ecology is modified to test the hypothesis that this decision is based on a relationship between toolstone quality and transport distance. The hypothesis predicts that higher quality toolstone will be taken preferentially to lower quality toolstone as evidenced through transportation of the higher quality stone over greater distances. The hypothesis is tested using data from sites in the northeastern Great Basin. Data was analyzed using a Geographic Information System (GIS). Results show a statistically significant relationship between distance of quarries with quality toolstone and archaeological sites.
  •  A Pioneer Settlement Period Home in Nephi, Utah: An Avocational Archaeological Investigation, By Ren R. Thomas
    Over the past twenty years, the author has remodeled and renovated his settlement-period home in Nephi, Utah. Recognizing that Utah is losing its pioneer heritage to the bulldozer and ever increasing development, it was decided to undertake a study to document and record the site to demonstrate what the avocational archaeologist, historian, or common property owner might consider in contributing to the historical and archaeological record. Recognizing that much of Utah’s disappearing heritage lies on private ground, awareness, interest and input from the general public and the everyday homeowner are a must if it is to be preserved. Further, as we move into times of greater need for the conservation of natural resources and materials, reuse will inevitably become more common. This will provide increased opportunity to record and learn from the past as we chart a way forward to the future. For this project, research was carried out to place the author’s historic home in the context of Juab Valley, the development of Nephi City, and to discover who the builder may have been and the date of original construction. The details of the home’s construction and episodes of renovation are described in architectural drawings, photographs and limited archaeological excavation. As a narrative, this article follows the renovation over the past twenty years to lend context to the study and artifact collection.


  • Traces of the Fremont: Society and Rock Art in Ancient Utah, Reviewed by Richard K. Talbot