Interpreting Spotten Cave, a Mid-Archaic to Ethnohistoric Rockshelter Site, to Utah’s Public

Author(s): Savanna Agardy

Year: 2023


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2023: Individual Abstracts" session, at the 88th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The public interpretation of archaeological sites is crucial to the understanding, appreciation, stewardship, and preservation of archaeology by the public. Significant archaeological sites, such as the privately-owned Spotten Cave, a prehistoric rockshelter site in Utah County, should be interpreted to the public even if they have an uncertain future. Uncertain futures are defined as not being protected by federal or state law, nor are they publicly accessible, and some face the possibility of destruction in the future. Due to these challenges, public interpretation is generally not developed for archaeological sites in these scenarios despite their significance. This project aims to address this gap by researching public interpretation methods for archaeological sites along with how the public benefits from archaeological interpretation. The project also includes the development of an archaeological context for Spotten Cave using data derived from previous archaeological research and supplementary fieldwork, lab work, and informal interviews. These components combine key elements to make several recommendations for the public interpretation of Spotten Cave based on possible future scenarios. This project contributes to the heritage field by exploring public interpretation for sites with uncertain futures, a topic that is scarcely available in the existing literature.

Cite this Record

Interpreting Spotten Cave, a Mid-Archaic to Ethnohistoric Rockshelter Site, to Utah’s Public. Savanna Agardy. Presented at The 88th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2023 ( tDAR id: 474970)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 37328.0