Utah Professional

Archaeological Council


2012: Vol 25 No 1

Utah Archaeology 2012 Volume 25, Number 1

Full Text of Issue 


Message from the Editors

From its inception, Utah Archaeology has been a place where archaeologists from a variety of backgrounds can come together to share information about the prehistory of this great state. As reflected in the fantastic contributions to this volume, submissions to the journal regularly come from academic, professional, student, and avocational archaeologists. These diverse perspectives all contribute to Utah Archaeology’s unique flavor, and allow the journal to serve as a voice for the larger archaeological community.

 It has been a great pleasure to contribute to the journal’s continued success for the past several years. We appreciate the wonderful support that the archaeological community continues to pour into Utah Archaeology. We also gratefully acknowledge the on-going administrative support of the Brigham Young University Department of Anthropology. As the editorship passes to new hands, we are confident that Utah Archaeology will continue to be a successful forum accessible to all.


The Dawson Site: A Paleoindian Camp in the San Rafael Desert by David A. Byers

This paper presents an overview of the artifacts, site structure, and geochronology of the Dawson Site, a large and rich Paleoindian site located in the San Rafael Desert of central Utah.  The collected lithic assemblage contains 222 late Pleistocene artifacts.  The projectile point assemblage includes Clovis-like fluted bifaces, Folsom, Cody, and Western Stemmed Tradition projectile points.  Numerous bifaces, scrapers, and other chipped stone tools were also recovered from the site where a large debitage assemblage was observed as well.  Analysis of the spatial distribution of tools suggests a campsite located around what is now likely an extinct spring.  Finally, subsurface testing in combination with two OSL dates, suggests that although the Dawson Site contains an extensive and rich lithic assemblage, that the site likely represents a deflated palimpsest of occupations now covered with a thin layer of late Holocene sand.

A Clovis Point Find in the Uinta Basin, Duchesne County, Utah by Cody Newton and James A. Truesdale

A Clovis point fragment was recorded by An Independent Archaeologist (AIA) while conducting archaeological survey in the southern unit of the Ashley National Forest in the Southwestern portion of the Uinta Basin. The point is a rare find in northeastern Utah.  This article reports a description of the point and discusses its comparison to other Utah and interregional Clovis point finds.

Utah Valley Fremont Figurines: Function and Ritual Abandonment by Mark L. Bodily

Over the last half century, 368 complete or fragmented Fremont figurines have been recovered from throughout Utah (25 percent are from the Utah Valley) in various archaeological contexts.  These combined old and new data are beneficial for examining figurine context, function, and possibly meaning.  Fremont figurine use and meaning has been problematic for Fremont scholars; however, ethnographic data from the Southwest suggest that the figurines could have been used as objects in fertility cults, as village people, and as children’s play toys.  While recognizing that these analogies only offer a few of the possible explanations for how Fremont figurines may have been used, they also illustrate that when figurines were discarded, they were deposited into the archaeological record in different ways for different reasons.  Ritual abandonment of structures and artifacts may also account for various figurine contexts. 

Artiodactyla Phalange Mountain Sheep Figurines from Utah by Ronald J. Rood

Four sites in Utah have produced carved zoomorphic bone artifacts made from artiodactyla second phalanges.  In all of these cases, the second phalange has been carved to resemble a mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis)and these have been found in both Fremont and Anasazi archaeological contexts. The function of these figurines is unknown but they do further substantiate the significance this animal with these prehistoric cultures.