Tag Archives: archaeology

Archaeology & Preservation Month 2018

Utah Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month celebrates Utah’s rich archaeological and historical resources with a month of lectures and hands-on learning. Statewide events include:

  • Open house at the Natural History Museum of Utah with educational activities for (kids and adults)
  • Hands-on experiences
  • Lectures and paper presentations
  • Tours of archaeological and historical sites

Printable version of the events calendar is available!

Please note: Updates occur regularly, but may take up to 48 hours to appear. Please note: Jumps may land slightly below their marker. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Do you have an event? Please email cmerritt@utah.gov and fill out the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Event Form

Brigham City

  • Third Annual Academy Center Art Show & Sale in the Historic Box Elder Academy of Music and Dancing Building
    Date & Time: Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 and 26
    For More Information (contact info): Lanan Donovan (artshow@historicbrigham.org)
    Historic Downtown Brigham City
    Admission Cost: Free
    Event Description: The annual Academy Center Art Show & Sale, held on Memorial Day Weekend, is gaining attention as one of the Top of Utah’s finest art venues. It is set in the stunningly restored Academy Conference Center Ballroom, in Historic Downtown Brigham City. This event will showcases over 100 works of art in professional, amateur, and student divisions. Media includes oil/acrylic, watercolor, drawing, and sculpture portraying a wide range of subjects.  www.visitbrighamcity.com/artshow

Golden Spike National Historic Site

  • Transcontinental Celebration (149th Anniversary)
    Date & Time: Thursday, May 10 (9am to 5pm)
    Location: Golden Spike National Historic Site, 32 miles west of Brigham City
    For More Information (contact info): 435-471-2209, ext 29
    National Park Service
    Admission Cost: Free
    Event Description: Golden Spike National Historic Site will celebrate the 149th anniversary of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad on  May 10th, 2018.  Events marking the May 10th occasion include the recreation of the historic “champagne photo”, a performance by Box Elder High School Band, traditional anniversary program, a re-enactment of the original 1869 ceremony, and locomotive steam demonstrations.




  • Riding Tours of Historic Hyrum
    Date & Time: Saturday, May 12 (11am & 2pm)
    Location: Meet at the Hyrum Museum, 50 West Main Hyrum
    For More Information (contact info): museum@hyrumcity.com or (435) 245-0208
    Hyrum City Museum and Hyrum Historic Preservation Commission
    Admission Cost:  Free, but sign-up with the museum to guarantee spot
    Event Description: Join us for a riding tour of the historic structures and sites of Hyrum. Enjoy 45 minutes of a guided tour including historic pictures of the places we’ll be viewing along with interesting facts, stories, and maybe a tall tale or two!


  • A People’s Story of the Land
    Date & Time: May 19, 10am to 4pm
    Location: Stokes Nature Center, 2696 E Hwy 89, Logan, UT 84321
    For More Information (contact info):  Stokes Nature Center, nature@logannature.org, 435-755-3239
    Stokes Nature Center, USU Museum of Anthropology, NW Band of the Shoshone Tribe
    Admission Cost:  Free
    Event Description: The month of May has been designated as Annual Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month to promote Utah’s historical heritage throughout the state. Here at Stokes Nature Center, we are teaming up with the USU Museum of Anthropology, and the NW Band of the Shoshone tribe to take this opportunity to showcase the diverse history of the native people’s relationship with the land. Please join us on Saturday, May 19th, from 10 AM – 4 PM at Stokes Nature Center to celebrate the Shoshone heritage and story. We will have special exhibits, demonstrations of skill such as basket-weaving, bead-making, using natural dyes, edible and medicinal plant identification, and more! Chairman Darren Parry will be closing the day’s festivities with a presentation about balancing the needs of the Shoshone people with environmental stewardship.

Historic Contexts

Historic contexts are a formal tool to  help agencies, consultants, and the public to understand and assess the range of variation within a certain region, period, or resource type. These documents form a strong foundation for assessing the significance of a cultural resource for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The Utah State Historic Preservation Office (UT-SHPO) is happy to include existing but hard to find resources on this website, and will be expanded as new contexts are made available. For many of these documents below there are additional materials at the Utah Division of State History’s office at 300 S. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City, Utah.

The National Park Service’s National Register Bulletins provide the core description on how to develop and employ a historic context, so please be sure to visit their website for more information. Specifically, Barbara Wyatt of the National Park Service created a short white paper that succinctly describes what is in a historic context and how to use it, and it can be found by clicking here.

If you have any questions or comments on these please contact the UT-SHPO’s resident context wranglers: Elizabeth Hora-Cook at ehora@utah.gov or Cory Jensen at coryjensen@utah.gov

Broad Overview Contexts (Multi-Resource Type)

Architectural Contexts

Reconnaissance Level Survey Contexts

General Domestic or Other Contexts

Public Buildings Contexts

Religious Architectural Contexts

Industrial or Engineering Related Contexts

United States Forest Service in Utah Contexts

Archaeological Contexts*


Prehistoric Period

*Some reports above may have been redacted per state or federal data protections on archaeological site locations.

Ethnographic Contexts

City-wide Contexts

Neighborhood/Subdivision Contexts

Salt Lake City

American Fork




Washington Terrace

Utah Statewide Archaeological Society

The Utah Statewide Archaeological Society (USAS) was originally formed out of the Statewide Archaeological Survey established by Dr. Jesse Jennings in 1951. USAS is a group of individuals not necessarily trained as archaeologists, but share a common interest and passion for understanding, stewarding, and preserving Utah’s rich archaeological legacy. Today, there are over 300 members in several different chapters. Please visit their website here: utaharchaeology.org and see how you can join in the adventure.

Utah Division of State History has a long partnership with USAS, and this page is dedicated to furthering the joint missions of both organizations. Please see the 1975 By-laws for the Society.

USAS Newsletters

In 2016, Janice Reed-Campbell of the Utah Division of State History’s Antiquities Section discovered binders full of USAS Newsletters, the earliest dating to 1955. Janice painstakingly scanned all of the newsletters in our collection and we are making them available through this page. Given size limitations on our website we can not post all the Newsletters, but we are offering a selection for download. If you see a particular newsletter you are interested in the table below please email Janice at jreedcam@utah.gov and she will email you the newsletter directly. This is a great resource and includes some rarely seen writings of Dr. Jesse Jennings.

Year Month Selected Article (others are included in pdf)
1955 June • Utah Anthropology, An Outline of Its History, by Elmer R. Smith
November • Archaeological Evidence of Hunting Magic, by James H. Gunnerson
December • Archaeological Excavations Near Salina, Utah, by Dee C. Taylor
1956 March • 1955 Surveys in Castle Valley, Hanksville, Aquarius Plateau and San Juan County, by James Gunnerson
June • Radiocarbon Dates from Danger Cave, Utah, by J. D. Jennings
• Petrographs, by J. H. Gunnerson
October • Archaeological Activities of the University of Utah, by James H. Gunnerson
December • Early Man in the West, by Jesse D. Jennings
• Each to the Other, by William A. Ritchie
1957 March • Salvage Archaeology, by James H. Gunnerson
June • The Recognition of Archaeological Sites, by Lloyd Pierson
• How Old Is It, by James H. Gunnerson
September • Archaeology and the Scientific Method, Part I, by Fay-Cooper Cole
• Upper Colorado River Basin Archaeological Salvage Project, Summer 1957, by Jesse D. Jennings
December • Archaeology and the Scientific Method, Part II.-and the Scientific Method: Part II, by Fay-Cooper Cole
• Preliminary Report of 1957 Work at Snake Rock, by James H. Gunnerson
1958 March • An Underground Storage Pit Near Moab, by Lloyd Pierson
• Plant and Animal Material in Archaeological Interpretation, by James H. Gunnerson
June • Pottery in Archaeological Interpretation, by James H. Gunnerson
• A Pueblo Site in Utah Valley, by Carl Hugh Jones
September • A Preliminary Note on Excavations at the Coombs Site, Boulder. Utah, by Robert H. Lister
• Archaeological Survey of the Kaiparowits Plateau-A Preliminary Report, by James H. Gunnerson
December • Archaeological Excavations in Glen Canyon: A Preliminary Report of 1958 Work, by William Lipe
• Archaeological Survey in Glen Canyon: A Preliminary Report of 1958 Work, by Don Fowler
1959 March • The Moab Museum
June • Archaeological Survey in the Dead Horse Point Area, by James H . Gunnerson
September • The Utah Statewide Archaeological Society, by H. Merrill Peterson
• A Preliminary Note on 1959 Excavations at the Coombs Site, Boulder, Utah, by J. Richard Ambler
December • The Utah Statewide Archaeological Survey: Its Background; and First Ten Years, by James H. Gunnerson
1960 March • A Sketch of Utah Prehistory, by Alice P. Hunt
June • Cataloguing Archaeological Collections, by Dee Arm Suhm
• The Artifacts of Camp Maple Dell, Payson Canyon, Utah County, Utah, by John L. Cross
September • The Value and Function of the Local Archaeological Society, by Jesse D. Jennings
• A Percussion Industry of the Wyoming Desert, by Merrill Peterson
• Archaeological Notes on the Northeastern Margin of Great Salt Lake, by F. K. Hassel
December • Ute Tipi Poles, by Lloyd Pierson
1961 March • A Preliminary Report of the 1960 Archaeological Excavations in Glen Canyon, by Floyd W. Sharrock
• Hovenweep – The Deserted Valley, by Don Ripley
• 1960 Archaeological Survey and Testing in the Glen Canyon Region, by Don D. Fowler
June • An Open Site Near Plain City, Utah, by F. K. and Carol Hassel
• Excavations at the Bear River Site, Box Elder County, Utah, by David M. Pendergast
• Puebloid Cultures in Iron County: Progress Report, by Marshall McKusick
September • The Prehistory of Central and Northern Utah, by Melvin Aikens
• USAS – UCRBASP Joint Excavation in the Plainfield Reservoir, by David M. Pendergast
December • Artifacts From a Site In Box Elder County. Utah, by Warren C. Hageman
• A Preliminary Report of the 1961 Archaeological Excavations In Moqui Canyon and Castle Wash, by Floyd W. Sharrock
• Archaeological Survey and Testing in Moqui Canyon and Castle Wash, 1961, by Kent C. Day
1962 March • Unusual Petroglyph Find in Utah
June • Preliminary Report on Excavations in Southwestern Utah, 1962, by C. Melvin Aikens
September • Unusual Historical Indian Burial Report, by George W. Tripp
December • Additional Notes and Comments on Atlatl Weights in the Northwest, by B. Robert Butler
• Manti Mystery
• History and Pre-History of Bear Lake Indians
1963 March • Unusual Petroglyph Find in Utah
June • Preliminary Report on Excavations in Southwestern Utah, 1962, by C. Melvin Aikens
September • Unusual Historical Indian Burial Report, by George W. Tripp
December • Additional Notes and Comments on Atlatl Weights in the Northwest, by B. Robert Butler
• Manti Mystery
• History and Pre-History of Bear Lake Indians
1964 March • Unusual Historical Indian Burial Report, by George W. Tripp
• Extension of Black’s Fork Culture Material, by Leona Fetzer Wintch
• Ethnohistoric Study in the Glen Canyon, by Catherine L. Sweeney
June • Ta Tahumara, by John L. Cross
• Cultural Development in the Great Basin Part I, by James A. Goss
September • Surface Material From a Site in Weber County, by F. K. Hassel
• Cultural Development in the Great Basin Part II, by James A. Goss
December • Authentic Clovis Point Find Reported
• Indian Cache Uncovered, by Merrill Peterson
• Cultural Development in the Great Basin Part III, by James A. Goss
1965 March/June • Indian Languages of the Great Basin, by Wick R. Miller
September • Pictographs from Parrish Canyon, Davis County, by Grant Reeder M.D.
December • Preliminary Report on Excavations at the “Injun Creek” Site, Warren, Utah, by C. Melvin Aikens
1966 March • Preliminary Report on Excavations at the Nephi Site, Nephi, Utah, by Floyd W. Sharrock
June • Preliminary Report on Excavation at Gunlock Flats, Southwestern Utah, by Kent C. Day
September • Evidence of Acculturation among the Indians of Northern Utah and Southeast Idaho: A Historical Approach: Part I, by John R. Dewey
December • Plains Relationships of the Fremont Culture – A Summary Statement of a Hypothesis, by C. Melvin Aikens
• Evidence of Acculturation among the Indians of Northern Utah and Southeast Idaho: A Historical Approach: Part II, by John R. Dewey
1967 March • Archaeological Survey of Whitmore Wash and Shivwits Plateau, Northwestern Arizona, by Gordon C. Baldwin
June • A Mountain Sheep Skull Exhibiting Unusual Modifications, by George Tripp
• A Handled Olla From the “Injun Creek” Site, by F. K. Hassel
September • A Sketch of Utah Prehistory, by Alice P. Hunt
December (Includes 1967/1968) • Hogup Mountain Cave: Interim Report, by C. Melvin Aikens, Kimball T. Harper, Gary F. Fry
• Split Twig Animal Miniatures in the Southwestern United States, by Grant M. Reeder, M.D.
1969 March • A New Variant of the Fremont Moccasin, by Kenneth Lee Petersen
June • The Determination of Prehistoric Dietary Patterns by Means of Coprolite Analysis; A Glen Canyon Example, by David J. Steele
September • Testing Matheny Alcove, Southeastern Utah. by Dee F. Green
• “Manitou Stones” by John L. Cross
• Radiocarbon Dates From Danger Cave, Utah, by Jesse D. Jennings
December • Some Historic Indian Burials form Utah Valley. by Evan E. DeBloois
1971 March • The Eastern Uinta Fremont, by David A. Breternitz
June • Parowan Fremont, by John P. Marwitt
• Salt Lake Fremont, by Gary F. Fry
1972 March • Why Historical Archaeology?, by Dale L. Berg
• A Pueblo II Structure, San Juan County, Utah, by Ray T. Matheny and Dee F. Green
1974 September • The Excavation of Innocents Ridge. by Alan Schroedl
• A Great Basin Small Tool Tradition, by Alan Bryan and Ruth Gruhn
• The Lakeman Point, by Dean Caldwell
December • An Archaeological Survey in Sevier, Emery and Garfield Counties, by Claudia Berry
1975 March • The Excavation of Cowboy Cave, by Alan R. Schroedl
April • A 40,000 Year Old Stone Industry on Lake Bonneville’s Alpine Beach, by Leland L. Clark, M.D., M.S.
July • Archaeology and Alluvium in the Grand Gulch-Cedar Mesa Area, Southeastern Utah,by William D. Lipe and R.G. Matson
1976 July • The Bull Creek Excavations, Garfield County, Utah, by Alan R. Schroedl
1982 April • Atypical Stone Tools at Red Rock Predating Lake Bonneville’s 19,000 Year-Old High
• Stand Beach – Geology, by Lealand L. Clark, M.D. and Reuben L. Bullock
• The Uintah Heights Site-Weber County, Utah. By Mark E. Stuart
• The Long Park Sites: An Archaeological Survey, by Mark E. Stuart
• An Unusual Surface Find From Weber County, Utah, by Mark E. Stuart

Experience Utah Archaeology

Calendar of Events

Every May, which is Utah’s Archaeology & Preservation Month, you can find lectures, activities and more events listed here! Contact Chris Merritt (cmerritt@utah.gov) if you would like to add an event in your area!

Archaeological Site Etiquette

Visiting an archaeological site is fun and cool, but adhere to some rules. Please go here to learn more.

Archaeology & Preservation Month Posters

Contact Deb Miller if you would like to receive copies, (damiller@utah.gov).

Past Winners

Over 25 years of poster contest winners can be found here.


Teaching resources and information about Archaeology & Preservation in the state of Utah are located here.



Find an Archaeological Consultant

When looking for an archaeological consultant, you should ask yourselves two things:

1) Is this firm or person qualified?
2) Do they have the necessary permits?

Find consultants with permits

Since people with the necessary permits are also often qualified, it’s often worth starting there.  Here are the guidelines on permits:

State:  A person who does work on state-owned land needs a state permit.  People with state permits can be found listed on this website: http://publiclands.utah.gov/archaeology/

Federal: Federal law requires that work on federal land be done by qualified people. Federal agencies such as the BLM or Forest Service maintain their own list of permitted contractors. You should contact these agencies directly.

Try a consultant list

Another possible source for finding qualified consultants is the American Cultural Resources Association. See http://acra-crm.org/ for a list. A consultant on this site may not be qualified or permitted to do all work in all places, though. We recommend checking in detail with consultants directly regarding their experience and qualifications.


At the end of the day, we recommend that people treat a cultural resources contractor with the same care they treat any other contractor/consultant. It’s always good to shop around, get multiple bids, check references, and do careful homework to find a person who can do the work to your needs and satisfaction, at a competitive price.

Legal Authority


The Antiquities Section of the Utah Division of State History was created by the legislature to be the “authority of the state for the protection and orderly development of archaeological and anthropological resources.”

The Antiquities Section is given responsibility to:

  • promote research, study, and activities in the field of antiquities;
  • assist with the marking, protection, and preservation of sites;
  • assist with the collection, preservation, and administration of specimens until they are placed in a repository or curation facility;
  • provide advice on the protection and orderly development of archaeological resources and in doing so confer with the Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office if requested;
  • assist with the proper care of ancient human remains as authorized by Subsection 76-9-704(3) and federal law;
  • collect and administer site survey and excavation records;
  • edit and publish antiquities records

Utah State Antiquities Act (UCA 9-8-301 – 308) and the implementing regulations as codified in R212-4. Ancient Human Remains

Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation 9-9-401402403404405406

Cultural Sites Protection 76-6-901902903

Abuse or Desecration of a Dead Human Body 76-9-704

Archaeological Vandalism Statutes 76-6-90176-6-90276-6-903

Human Remains

What to do if you find human remains

Occasionally, people in Utah find human remains. Remains can be exposed through erosion, through digging (as in digging a foundation for a house), or through some other kind of ground disturbance. Human remains are sometimes found by people just out for a hike.

If you do find human remains while you are out or if you are digging, do not disturb them further. In Utah it is a third degree felony for anyone except an archaeologist, the Medical Examiner’s office, law enforcement, or a licensed mortician to disturb, move, remove, conceal, or destroy human remains.

No matter what the age of the bones appears to be, leave them in place and call the local law enforcement agency. If the remains are ancient, law enforcement will contact the Antiquities Section of State History.

For law enforcement agencies

If you determine that the remains are not recent, call the federal agency that owns the land. If they are located on private or state lands, you can call the Antiquities Section at 801-245-7245 for assistance. Do not remove human remains from the ground.

What happens to the remains

For the remains of indigenous peoples, the Utah State Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and federal NAGPRA provide a process through which they can be repatriated and reburied. See more information on Utah State NAGPRA and federal NAGPRA.

Applicable Laws

Utah law

76-9-704 – Abuse or Desecration of a Dead Human Body

9-8-309. Ancient human remains on nonfederal lands that are not state lands

9-9-403. Ownership and disposition of Native American remains
Additional legal authority is found in Utah’s Administrative Code

R455-5 Ancient Human Remains

Federal NAGPRA website


If you have questions about human remains, contact Derinna Kopp at 801-245-7245.

Laws, Rules & Related

Legal authority

Compliance and SHPO matters

Please note: The links on this page will open in a new window and take you outside the State History web site.

SHPO Compliance

e106 Submission System Now Live!

As of November 27, 2017, the Utah State Historic Preservation Office has gone digital. All paper submissions will now be handled through an online platform, termed e106. This system is built upon a Salesforce Platform foundation. This system is only for agency use, no consultants should use this system unless there is pre-authorization through the SHPO or under the FCC Programmatic Agreement. Standards do apply, so please follow the links below to the Archaeological Records standards and also the Historic Buildings Standards.

Please visit the following link to see a public viewer of cases being reviewed, or if you are agency, follow the instructions to register for submissions: community.utah.gov/e106

Laws are in place to make sure that federal and state projects don’t carelessly destroy cultural resources.

Agencies’ Responsibilities

State and federal agencies that undertake projects must “take into account” how their project activities will affect historic and archaeological resources.

List of Agency Contacts in Utah, as of 4/21/2017

Common projects include construction, rehabilitation, demolition, licensing, permitting, or transfer of public lands.

Do you need to hire a consultant?

Do you need to find a curation facility?

Archaeological Compliance Guidance – a document summarizing Utah standards

SHPO’s Role

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) provides guidance to agencies and governments who are affected by these laws.

Each month we review about 200 development projects and their potential effects on archaeological and historical sites. We comment on projects within 30 days and provide accurate data and professional consultation.

I just need a letter from the SHPO

Federal law summary(Section 106) A review of the laws that apply to any land development project involving federal funds.

State law summary (Utah Code Annotated 9-8-404) A review of laws that apply to projects using state funds.

Historic structures—specifics  What you need to know if your project may affect historic structures.

Archaeological resources—specifics What you need to know if your project may affect archaeological resources.

Public comment How you can provide input on projects. 

Memorandum of Agreement & Programmatic Agreement Archive

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 2017 Public Notice


For projects that are disturbing the ground or may affect archaeological resources:
Chris Merritt
300 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
Phone: 801-245-7263
Fax: 801-533-3503


Elizabeth Hora-Cook
300 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
Phone: 801-245-7241
Fax: 801-533-3503

For projects affecting historic structures:
Chris Hansen
300 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, Utah  84101
Phone: 801-245-7239
Fax: 801-533-3503

For UDOT-related projects affecting historic structures:
Cory Jensen
300 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, Utah  84101
Phone: 801-245-7242
Fax: 801-533-3503

Not sure whom to contact?
Contact any of the above individuals and we will work to get you going in the right direction.