Fremont Farming at the Margins: Assessing Horticultural Potential in Jones Hole Canyon, Utah

Author(s): Elizabeth Hora-Cook; Judson Finley

Year: 2015


Jones Hole Canyon, east of the Uinta Basin, experienced a population increase during the late Formative Period (between A.D. 1000 – 1300), roughly coincident with reductions in farming populations in the Uinta Basin. The subsistence economy of these Fremont-era occupants of Jones Hole remains unresolved: did they acquire food primarily through foraging like the canyon’s Archaic Period predecessors, or did they supplement foraged foods with horticultural products in a manner reminiscent of earlier Uinta Basin populations? This poster takes the first step toward answering this fundamental question by modeling environmental constraints on maize cultivation in Jones Hole Canyon. A GIS model of horticultural suitability indicates that Jones Hole Canyon can presently support maize cultivation, based on historic records of temperature and precipitation, and further work is underway to adapt this model to prehistoric climate data. Additionally, above-ground granaries in the canyon point to seasonal storage of horticultural products. Taken together, these two lines of evidence suggest that maize cultivation was a viable option for late Formative occupants of Jones Hole Canyon.

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Cite this Record

Fremont Farming at the Margins: Assessing Horticultural Potential in Jones Hole Canyon, Utah. Elizabeth Hora-Cook, Judson Finley. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398325)

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min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;