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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High Elevation Land-Use on the Northern Wasatch Plateau, Manti-La Sal National Forest, Utah

  • Author(s): Curewitz, Diane C
  • et al.

Technological analysis of 23 lithic scatters and 138 isolated finds in the Central Skyline area, Manti-La Sal National Forest, central Utah, reveals upland use patterns from 9,000 B.P. until the mid-1800s. Lithic scatter location is bimodally distributed by elevation and production activities differ at higher and lower elevations. Elevation zone use intensity changed over time. Higher elevations were used more prior to 6,000 years B.P. (Late Paleoindian and Early Archaic periods), and have more discarded tools but less evidence of tool manufacture. Lithic raw material is mainly local chert. Lower elevations were used more after A.D. 400 (Formative and Late Prehistoric periods). More non-local obsidian debitage occurs at lower elevations, but tool manufacture used local chert. Topography and low intensity of use relative to other parts of the Wasatch Plateau suggest the area was an efficient travel route between the eastern Great Basin and the northern Colorado Plateau.

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