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Front Page » May 26, 2009 » Scene » Local students invited to experience Range Creek
Published 2,831 days ago

Local students invited to experience Range Creek

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It's spring, the snows of winter are fading memories, our lawns and fields are green and, for the fifth year in a row, a select group of individuals will have the unique opportunity to spend five days as part of a real archaeological team. They will join instructors from the University of Utah exploring one of the most pristine early Native American sites in the United States in Range Creek. As in years past, the out of state high school students who will be permitted to participate in this once in a life time experience will pay more than $900 plus travel expenses. This will give them the opportunity to "rough it" camping on the grounds of the Wilcox Ranch, the home of the UofU's Range Creek Archaeological Project while working side-by-side with Dr. Duncan Metcalfe (Associate Professor of Anthropology and Curator of Archaeology, Utah Museum of Natural History). Along with Dr. Metcalfe will be his staff, and up to 12 under-graduate and graduate archaeology students from around the country as they unearth the mysteries of Range Creek and the ancient Fremont people who called the canyon home some 1,500 years ago. This year, as in the previous four years, a limited number of free slots have been reserved and are still available to Emery County High School students on a first come first served basis.

Because of the pristine nature of the hundreds of archaeological sites and abundance of ancient artifacts throughout the canyon, access to Range Creek is tightly controlled and normally by permit only, with very few being allowed access to the heart of the project's domain. Through the efforts of the Emery County Economic Development Council, with the co-operation of the Emery County Commissioners and the University of Utah, special arrangements have been made to allow students this unprecedented, very special access.

In past years our students have been given the opportunity to fully participate with the college students in receiving training in a variety of archaeological field techniques. These techniques include surveying, mapping, soil identification, aspects of paleo-ecological research, as well as modern archaeological field and lab techniques (as one student said "drawin' stuff, diggin' stuff up and writin' stuff down") in this ongoing field research program. While more than 145 archaeological sites have been identified and recorded hundreds of early Fremont archaeological sites and artifacts remain to be recorded including adobe and masonry granaries, pit-house villages, caches and cists in rock-shelters, and amazing rock art panels and hundreds more lay in pristine condition waiting to be discovered.

In years past, Dr. Metcalfe, has made our students the offer "If you discover a new granary or rock art we'll name it after you." I'm sure this year he'll make this offer . . . who knows this may be your chance to become immortalized in archaeological textbooks. In any event, if you are one of the fortunate few who are accepted to attend this year's archaeology camp I'm sure you'll find it the best five days of this year's summer vacation.

High school boys and girls can apply for this fully chaperoned camp at the Emery County web-site or by contacting Christine Jensen at 381-2381. (parental consent will be required). Archaeology camp is June 15-19 and Paleontology Camp is July 13-17.

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May 26, 2009
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