Aboriginal Adaptations on the Colorado Plateau: A View From the Island-in-the-Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah


This final report documents the results of archeological inventory, excavation, and analysis of prehistoric cultural resources within a 45-kilometer (28-mile) long corridor in the Island-in-the-Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, Utah. During three field seasons of survey, mapping, and excavation in 1983-1985, the research team recorded 32 artifact scatters, plotted 90,000 prehistoric artifacts and 250 historic items, completed 600 one-square-meter test pits, and conducted 10 block excavations. Block excavations at two locations in Gray's Pasture revealed a plant processing/hunting field camp (42SA16858) and a disturbed pithouse (42SA8506). Associated features and materials included a puddled clay-lined hearth, a slab-lined pit, a cached Mesa Verde Black-on-white on a, six additional restored ceramic vessels, chipped and ground stone tools, human remains, animal bone, and macrobotanical material. Radiometric determinations for these locations ranged from 1335 B.P. (corrected A.D. 690- 795) to 940 B.P. (corrected A.D. 620-895). Radiometric dates for sites examined within the project area ranged from 2990 B.P. (corrected 1400-925 B.C.) to 120 B.P. (corrected A.D. 1655-1950). Research problems for this project included aboriginal patterns of land use, paleonutrition/diet/health, food storage, and caching strategies. Special emphasis was given to the investigation of artifact assemblage-diversity at varying spatial scales within surface artifact scatters.

Cite this Record

Aboriginal Adaptations on the Colorado Plateau: A View From the Island-in-the-Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Alan J. Osborn, Jesslyn Brown, Galen Burgett, Linda Scott Cummings, Ralph J. Hartley, Susan Vetter, Jennifer Waters, Tony Zalucha, F. A. Calabrese. Occasional Studies in Anthropology ,33. Lincoln, Nebraska: Midwest Archeological Center, National Park Service. 1995 ( tDAR id: 375735) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8D21XBW

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Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: -1400 to 1950 (Dates for sites examined within the project area)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.435; min lat: 37.697 ; max long: -109.613; max lat: 38.548 ;

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