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Range Creek on display


Book Cliff students visit exhibit

The students learn about the tanning process from Ephraim Dickson.

Emery County has been put on the map with the news leaking out last year on the archaeological discoveries at Range Creek. The Utah Museum of Natural History is bringing the first Range Creek exhibit to the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River for one year. The kickoff event was held on March 10. Students from Book Cliff Elementary attended the event for some hands on fun with museum presenters.

The students learned about nature's grocery store and explored the use of plants in the Fremont world. The students learned how to grind corn and the chores involved with gathering enough food each day to exist. Ephraim Dickson, director of Education for the Utah Museum of Natural History discussed hunting practices and tools used among the Fremont. Students learned about tanning hides and scraping them with rock scrapers.

Julie Hansen talks about Fremont pottery with the school children.

Julie Hansen, cultural anthropologist, explained how the Fremont used pottery in their everyday lives and how they made pots by collecting clay and mixing it with sand or crushed rocks to make it stronger. Sometimes they painted the pottery. The pots were baked in the sun. The clay was coiled around and around like a snake and formed into a pot. The pot was smoothed with a rock inside and out. The students saw pots made in the Fremont era and baskets.

Dickson explained how the trash piles the Indians left behind tell a lot about the way they lived. Chris Lyon, geologist, showed the children some rock art and figurines. She told them the use of the figurines isn't known at this time. The children speculated on the use of the figurines with answers like, "maybe they were used for snuggling," or "maybe they represent people who have died," or "maybe they protected the corn." No one knows for sure and one guess is as good as another as the children thought about the ancients and their way of life.

Sharon Hughes' first grade class will write stories about the Indians and the things they have learned about them.

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