Archaeology

Archeologists have found evidence of 12,000 years of continuous human occupation in the Moab region, and the Museum has on display baskets, pottery, arrowheads, clothing and other artifacts giving evidence of this life.

Our archeology collection allows visitors to span the millennia by seeing the remnants of five distinct human cultures:

  • Archaic hunter/gatherer
  • Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi)
  • Fremont
  • Ute cultures
  • Navajo

The Ancestral Puebloans were masters at crafting ceramic vessels for daily use. The photo on the right shows some of the pots on display in the Museum collection.

Imagine fashioning a sandal from nothing but yucca leaves or making string from the leg muscle of a deer. There were no stores for supplies for these desert dwellers – only the materials supplied by the natural world.

One of our premier objects is a large burden basket with a multi-colored woven design. It was discovered as recently as 1990 by three teenage boys exploring a cave southwest of Moab. This graceful object likely belonged to an Ancestral Puebloan living between A.D. 855 and 1020, based on radioactive carbon dating. Its simple beauty takes us back to a time and place otherwise inaccessible to us.

The Museum is extremely grateful to the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management, which have cooperated with us for many years to bring to public view many of the artifacts that have been discovered on the grounds of our public lands.