Now You See It: Ethnohistoric Archaeology in the Bluff, Utah, Area

Author(s): James Willian; Winston Hurst

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Transcending Modern Boundaries: Recent Investigations of Cultural Landscapes in Southeastern Utah" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The archaeology of protohistoric-historic native groups in the southeast Utah can be challenging. Surface evidence for Navajo, Ute, and Paiute camps, particularly earlier ones, are oftentimes minimal and go unrecognized, either literally or in terms of significance. Alliance and kinship ties between these cultures further complicate the picture, as the presumed correlation between certain feature types and culture is not absolute. Recent archaeological work in the greater Bluff, Utah, area, reveals an ever more detailed picture of ethnohistoric occupation and life ways in the region. At the heart of this effort was the multiyear Comb Ridge Heritage Initiative (CRHI) project. Among various research priorities, the CRHI emphasized recognition and documentation of ethnohistoric sites, providing a springboard for ongoing research. A crucial step forward in revealing the extent of Ute occupation in the area, was the first ever identification of tipi rings in southeast Utah. While historic tipi use was known for the area, the conventional view was that tipi rings were absent. Additional sites with tipi rings continue to be recognized in the greater Bluff area, indicative of a broad Ute presence on this landscape, a presence that has been chronically underrepresented in the archaeological record.

Cite this Record

Now You See It: Ethnohistoric Archaeology in the Bluff, Utah, Area. James Willian, Winston Hurst. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450925)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -123.97; min lat: 37.996 ; max long: -101.997; max lat: 46.134 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24527