Monday, October 18, 2010

America's Secret Canyon

A Fremont petroglyph

Hidden away in a rugged and remote corner of eastern Utah lies one of the most unique archeological sites in North America—Range Creek Canyon. Native Americans known as the Fremonts lived there for several hundred years up until about 1,300 AD when their way of life came to a sudden and mysterious end. Similar to the Anasazi, the Fremonts were ancestors of today’s Pueblo peoples.
  The site remains largely untouched today thanks to Waldo Wilcox. He is the rancher that owned the land and protected this secret for 50 years until he eventually sold it to the state of Utah in 2001. Currently, the land is under the care of the University of Utah’s Archeology Department.
A stone and adobe granary
  The Fremonts hunted and farmed. They grew corn and stored it in stone and adobe granaries that they built in out-of-the-way cliff sides. Over 38 have been identified so far. These granaries are at many different elevations and often located in extremely precarious spots. It is thought that in lean years they stored their corn in higher, more difficult to reach areas in order to protect their limited food supply. 
A Fremont petroglyph
  They were also prolific artists, creating many carvings into the cliff walls (know as petroglyphs) and paintings in caves and on rocks (known as pictograms). Their cave dwellings were well crafted and a rich source of artifacts: pottery, stone tools, arrowheads and other items. This unique find will no doubt be carefully studied for years to come and promises to reveal many details of their lives.

1) True of false: Ranch Creek Canyon was home to the Fremont people a thousand years ago.

2) The Fremonts relied on the farming of ______________ which they stored in stone and adobe ______________________
a) corn, baskets  b) wheat, caves  c) corn, granaries  d) wheat, granaries

3) True or false: Petroglyphs are paintings on rock or cave walls.

4) Range Creek Canyon is being studied by _________________.
a) the state of Utah  b) the Utah University Geology Department  c) Waldo Wilcox  d) the Utah University Archeology Department.

5) The Fremonts are similar to what other ancient tribe?

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