A Colorful History: Black Rock’s History and Graffiti Woes

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Christopher W. Merritt, Ph.D. Utah State Historic Preservation Officer  It is unclear when the first human laid eyes upon the geological oddity now called “Black Rock” on the southern shores of the Great Salt Lake. But it was likely a Native American from the Paleoindian or Early Archaic period, evidence …

Steward Spotlight: Darrell and Marty Thomas

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For this, our first ever Site Steward Spotlight, we will be spotlighting not one, but two dedicated Site Stewards. Marty and Darrell Thomas are a dynamic stewarding duo with 20 years of professional and avocational archaeological experience under their belts. This includes helping to organize their first site stewardship program …

Sneak Peek at Utah’s Cultural Site Steward Program

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Thanks for your interest in the Utah Cultural Site Stewardship Program (UCSS) managed by the Utah Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).. If you’re here, you probably already know that Utah’s archaeological sites are under threat of damage from human and natural causes, and you may already be familiar with what site …

Saber Rattling in Strawberry Valley: The 1888 Encampment of the US Army in Utah

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Written by Christopher W. Merritt, Ph.D., Utah State Historic Preservation Officer Over 900 soldiers from the Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery branches of the United States Army descended on Strawberry Valley in August of 1888 to engage in the first large-scale joint training exercises west of the Mississippi River. Typically, each …

The Peculiar Historical and Archaeological Journey of Utah’s First House: The Devereaux Mansion

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Written by Christopher W. Merritt, Ph.D. State Historic Preservation Officer How many times have you traveled South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City and noticed the lone red sandstone House sandwiched between Trax lines, the Triad Center, and the Union Pacific Depot? Today, this Mansion and its well-kept grounds is …

Guest Blog: URARA

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We have a guest blog from the Utah Rock Art Research Association (URARA) this week! If you haven’t already heard of this organization, they are a fantastic group of people who are passionate about rock imagery! Utah Rock Art Research Association, (URARA) has replaced it’s monthly on the ground field …

What’s in a Name: Rock Imagery

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You may have noticed that we at UPAN and in the wider State Historic Preservation Office, we refer to “rock imagery” when discussing prehistoric/Indigenous petroglyphs, pictographs, and other culturally meaningful markings on stone. For many years “rock art” has been the preferred term used by archaeologists and other Western-educated scholars… …

Utah’s Prehistory in Artifacts

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Written by Erin Haycock Editor’s note: The artifacts you are about to see have all been looted, or stolen. Looting is the illegal removal of archaeological materials from archaeological sites. Not only is this illegal, but it strips artifacts of their scientific value and it debases their cultural value to …