Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Utah Archaeology 9:35-53


Copyright 1996 Utah Professional Archaeological Council (UPAC)


AMS radiocarbon dates on plain-weave sandals from caves of the central Colorado Plateau are reported. The sandals range in age from about 6900 to 3200 B.P. (ca. 5700-1450 cal. B.C.). The findings strengthen a case for both population and cultural continuity during the Archaic period, and support a related argument that middle Archaic break in the occupancy of several important shelters such as Cowboy Cave resulted from settlement pattern change and not regional abandonment. The dates demonstrate that living accumulations within some shelters of lower Glen Canyon resulted from Archaic foragers and not Puebloan farmers as previously claimed. Benchmark Cave, in particular, emerges as a site with an important record of hunter-gatherer occupancy during the middle and late Archaic.