Utah Professional

Archaeological Council


2016: Vol 29 No 1

Utah Archaeology Volume 29, Number 1

Full Text of Issue will be posted once the 2018 journal has been published



In Memorandum – E. Jay Nelson (1944-2016) by Joel C. Janetski

The Utah Valley Chapter of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Survey lost one of its founding members on August 24th of this year after a lingering illness. Jay had been a long time collector who, along with his wife and constant companion, Merianne, had a love affair with archaeology.


A Phoenix from the Ashes: Interpreting Destruction and Reconstruction at Salt Lake City’s Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Train Maintenance Facility (42SL718) by Stephanie Lechert, Sheri Murray Ellis and Anne Oliver

Remains of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad train maintenance facility (42SL718), originally built in 1882 in Salt Lake City, Utah were discovered during construction of the Utah Transit Authority’s new Depot District Service Center in July 2014. Subsequent monitoring and mitigation uncovered and documented 94 features and thousands of artifacts across the site. These features and artifacts, placed in the context of historic background research, tell the story of 70 years of construction and reconstruction at the train maintenance facility in the aftermath of four destructive fires. Site 42SL718 provides a unique look at the evolution of the railroad on the west side of Salt Lake City between 1882 and the late 1950s, and reveals how this area retains its ties to modern transportation-related buildings and structures.

Fremont Occupation of the Utah Valley Uplands: The View from Jay’s Place and Kay’s Cabin by Joel C. Janetski

Utah Valley is home to Utah Lake, a large, freshwater body of water that supported a rich fishery and abundant wetland resources in the past. Those resources attracted human populations anciently, a fact borne out by the numerous remains of fish, waterfowl, and marsh-adapted plants recovered from lake edge and valley bottom archaeological sites. To test whether lacustral resources were sought after by people living at some distance from the lake, I investigated two Fremont sites, Jay’s Place and Kay’s Cabin, in uplands adjacent to Utah Valley. Although these two sites yielded very different artifact and faunal assemblages, the findings presented here demonstrate that the importance of fish and other marsh-related plants and animals diminished while people were living at these locales during the Fremont era.

Quantifying Utah’s Past: An Archaeology Data Assessment and Synthesis of Utah through 2015 by Arie Leeflang

The State of Utah has a rich and diverse archaeological record which is largely lacking in a statewide summary. As the state’s primary archaeological record repository, the Antiquities Section of the Utah Division of State History (UDSH) has collected basic archaeological site and inventory data since the 1980s. While some data is missing, this repository and dataset provides the best opportunity for a statewide, generalized assessment. Landowner inventory rates, large-scale site densities, statewide cultural affiliation summaries, and other data points are provided. As are cultural resource industry trends, including eligibility and site class recording trends. The bureaucratic value of the datasets is assessed. Areas of needed future efforts are discussed.

Prehistoric Diets and Medicines of the Utah Great Basin: Using Ethnohistory to Explore Botanical Remains from Spotten Cave Human Coprolites by Madison Pearce

Spotten Cave (42UT104) in Utah Valley is a special archaeological site because of its intermittent use from 5580 to 50 BP and because of the human coprolites found therein. Few reports have been devoted to this site, however, with none done on botanical remains. Archaeobotanical analysis of these prehistoric human coprolites coupled with ethnographic data provides insight into how and why former inhabitants of Utah Valley may have consumed both wild and cultivated plants. This report is unique for the valley, as it is one of the few botanical reports on Archaic sites in the area, and because Spotten Cave is one of two excavated caves sites and one of four Archaic sites.

A Historic Native American Child Burial from Utah by Ronald J. Rood, Kevin T. Jones, Nick Jones and Karleen Broadwater

Sometime after 1860, a young Native American child died near the present day town of Fillmore, Utah. More than 140 years later, the bones and associated artifacts buried with this child were exposed through erosion and threatened by continued erosion and vandalism. Subsequent archaeological excavation and analysis of the human remains and artifacts have contributed to our current understanding of Native American burial practices during the historic period and significantly, the reburial of this child was the first repatriation of human remains to a tribe under Utah’s state NAGPRA law. The human remains from 42Md1608 provide a rare glimpse into historic Native American burial practices concerning children and serves as an example of how scientific study and repatriation need not be mutually exclusive.


Fallen Rocks Shelter and Associated Sites: A Fremont Hunting Complex in the Wasatch Mountain Foothills Weber County, Utah, by Mark E. Stuart

Fallen Rocks Shelter (42WB288) and the associated pictograph sites, Running Warrior (42SB278) and Six Fingers (42WB280) were identified by Mark Stuart in 1984. The United States Forest Service, Weber State University, and the Promontory/Tubaduka Chapter of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society conducted test excavations in 1989. Results of the excavations provide information on the prehistoric use of the Wasatch foothills, including procurement of large mammals.

The Running Warrior Site by Mark E. Stuart

The Running Warrior Site (42Wb278) was first recorded by the United States Forest Service in 1978, after being discovered and reported by Mark Stuart. Located just east of Ogden City, the site is a rock shelter with diagnostic late Prehistoric material culture and several rock art panels. Surface assemblage suggests that the rockshelter was a short-term hunting station or temporary camp between 500-1000 AD.

The Watermelon Site 42Wb72: An Early to Middle Archaic Processing Site in Southeastern Weber County, Utah by Mark E. Stuart

The Watermelon Patch Site (42WB72) was identified in the 1930s but formally documented in 1993 by volunteers with the Promontory/Tubaduka Chapter of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society. The surface assemblage and artifacts collected by past visitors suggests that the site is an Archaic open site for temporary camping or hunting. Numerous groundstone fragments suggest the site was also used to process seeds and bulbs. This site provides information on the Archaic adaptation to the Wasatch Foothills in this period.


Nine Mile Canyon: The Archaeological History of an American Treasure Review by Andrew T. Yentsch

DIGITAL ARTICLES (Not included in the print volume)

The Dimple Dell Site: Late Archaic-Formative Transition Period Occupations in the Salt Lake Valley by Lance M. McNees and Craig S. Smith

Excavations at the Dimple Dell site (Site 42SL121) along Dry Creek in the Salt Lake valley yielded the remains of two Late Archaic-Formative transition period components dating to 1700 and 1540-1520 radiocarbon years before present (B.P.). The results of the excavation provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of this relatively unknown period and of the relatively unknown prehistory of the Salt Lake valley. The two components represent residential campsite occupations during the mid-winter to late spring/early summer. The earlier component was represented by Feature 1, a stratified, roughly rectangular pithouse. The more recent component was associated with Feature 2, a shallow circular basin that was likely a pithouse or at least an enclosed work area. Arrow points and arrow point manufacture failures were recovered from each component, but no ceramic artifacts or evidence of maize were recovered. Subsistence activities apparently focused on the procurement of mountain sheep and mule deer. The recovery of duck bones and a sucker fish bone indicates that the adjacent riparian zone along Dry Creek was also exploited. The Feature 1 assemblage also reflects typical house-based domestic activities, including small-scale arrow point manufacture and arrow retooling, possibly clothing and/ or basketry manufacture, and the use of ornaments and a bone gaming piece while the Feature 2 assemblage appears to reflect a range of specialized processing or craft activities, as shown by diverse, relatively specialized flake tools along with a drill and hafted knife fragment.

Here Today, Buried Tomorrow: Treatment Evaluation of 153 Archaeological Sites Recorded After the Milford Flat Fire ESR by Heidi Roberts and Amanda Landon

In the summer of 2007 Utah’s largest wildfire burned over 363,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and State lands located in Milford Flats in south central Utah. The emergency stabilization and remediation efforts that followed led to the establishment of a multi-agency team, which devised and implemented cutting edge methods to ensure the protection of archaeological sites. To evaluate the effectiveness of this process, the BLM awarded HRA a contract in 2014 to revisit a sample of the treated and untreated sites and compare their current conditions to the original site records. This paper examines the condition of the archaeological sites revisited and the effectiveness of the treatment strategies. These data will provide the BLM with the information necessary to fulfill their future responsibilities to protect archaeological resources within their jurisdiction after wildfires.