Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for April 29, 2009
Trench dig stops short of revelation in archeological history
The Hisatsinom, or Anasazi, lived along the banks of Kanab Creek in southwest Utah.
A potential clue for a pre-historic step back to 1 A.D. was discovered along an archaeological survey trench, on private development properties in Kanab.
During an archaeological exploratory survey conducted by McFadden Archaeological Consulting of Kanab, what some people may consider insignificant, a member of the team identified an object, and handed the small clay fired half disk to head archaeologist Doug McFadden. The object may prove to be the most significant find to date on the property.
It may prove the Virgin Anasazi practiced not only agriculture for sustenance, and irrigating crops from Kanab Creek before arroyo cutting, but may have been growing cotton for weaving. The clay-fired object may have been the base for a cotton spindle.
Ancient, very ancient, history is coming back to life, and the continuing discoveries on the property are exciting an exploration that may potentially create the next major archeological discovery in the American southwest. This site may provide a link between the Kayenta Anasazi and the Virgin Anasazi.
Speak of mind-blowing revelations in the history of human culture with some countless artifacts sleeping in the high desert, waiting to tell their story. Artifacts spanning well over 2,000 years in pre-history could mean a revelation in southwest ancient human history, is now sitting in the lap of a small rural community in southwestern Utah.
This slice through time has resulted in a novel partnership between a unique property landowner, and a newly formed science based organization in The Wildfire Foundation and the Kanab Archaeological Project.
Milo McCowan, of Savage Point Development, has created a new paradigm in his understanding of property values. It isn’t just about development anymore. His expectations include moving found artifacts into an on-site museum and repository that protects and explains the remarkable cultural assets of this region. As James McDonald, Dean of Humanities and Anthropology at Southern Utah State University says, “This is a perfect example of a private and public partnership where all parties benefit”.
In a remarkable acknowledgement of these unique archeological assets and a mutually advantageous relationship with property developers, The Wildfire Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, has hustled to find the best professionals in the state of Utah capable of supporting their cause.
The Wildfire Foundation has formed a steering committee, made up of local citizens. They have formed the Kanab Archaeological Project. Teamed with grants writers from the Wildfire Foundation, the Kanab Archaeological Project will seek funding for supporting the SUU Field School, a cultural history museum, and repository, and an educational center in cooperation with other local organizations.
Already supported by Southern Utah State University the organization is sponsoring an archaeological field school June 15 – 22, located on site.
According to Barbara Frank, SUU’s Curator of Archeology and Co-Director of Field Studies, “This may become the greatest learning experience for decades to come. It is a superior location that hasn’t been looted, an amazing intensive learning experience for everyone involved”.
The site may prove to have the longest continuous record of Anasazi occupation ranging in time from the area’s earliest basket makers (1 A.D) through the late Pueblo period ending about A.D. 1200. This region of the American southwest, after a 2% survey of lands, has already shown over 5000 sites indicating early cultures, and should be recognized as a revelation in archaeological discovery demanding attention.
The Kanab Archaeological Project has the additional significance of being located on the western peripheral rim of what was the Anasazi frontier, also known as the “Virgin Anasazi” a remarkable tangent where material cultures interfaced and potentially where, according to Dean McDonald, “the Anasazi were ‘un-Anasized,’ we don’t know but the site has the potential to tell”. Another mystery that may be solved in time.
The Wildfire Foundation, supervising the Kanab Archeological Project and in association with Savage Point Development, has a mission to explore the sites, excavating and displaying artifacts, developing an exploratory museum and repository, respecting native history, and creating a first ever co-operative model for developers in the region focused on preservation and education regarding our unique cultural assets and remarkable history.
The Kanab Archaeological Project is seeking volunteers to help support the SUU Field School with labor, to clear the site of sagebrush, (approximately ½ acre), and minimal funding this first season.