Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Occasional Studies in Anthropology (Midwest Archeological Center), number 25 (1991). Prepared for the Rocky Mountain Region, United States National Park Service. Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. Series editor, F. A. Calabrese; Publication editor, Judy Pace.


U.S. government publication.


This report documents the excavation and analysis of a large, isolated ceramic vessel discovered in the spring of 1988 in the Hite Marina area of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah Project #89-NA-051N. Several college students from Western State College in Colorado (Dean Brian, Matt How, Cathy Arvey, and Mike Donaldson) were hiking in the area when Dean Brian discovered the pot. Aware of the possible significance of such a find, Matt How immediately contacted Park Archaeologist Kris Kincaid and informed her of the vessel's location. Matt later returned with his family, Micky and JoNell How, when archaeologists Kincaid and Ralph Hartley of the Midwest Archeological Center visited the site. An assessment of the vessel, its location and condition resulted in plans for its removal by Midwest Archeological Center personnel scheduled to work in Glen Canyon during the summer of 1988. The How family returned again with archaeologists to help excavate the pot from site 42SA20779 on June 23, 1988.

Such isolated artifacts have often been ignored because they were thought to provide little insight into the patterns of aboriginal life. Conversely, analysis of this vessel was conducted within a framework which allows the vessel to be placed within a context of adaptive storage and caching behavior for the prehistoric Southwest. These results are achieved by careful examination of the vessel itself, the environmental context in which it was found, and the materials found in association with the vessel during excavation. In addition, a review of the literature concerning similar cache sites and ethnographic accounts of caching behavior, as well as adaptive behavior theory, allow construction of an explanatory framework within which this site, 42SA20779, and similar sites can be interpreted.