This report presents the results of test excavations at sites 42WS2215,
42WS2216, and 42WS2217 in Zion National Park in southwestern Utah. The
excavations were conducted prior to initiating a land exchange and were
designed to assess the scientific significance of these sites. However,
such an assessment is dependent on the archaeologists' ability to link the
static archaeological record to current anthropological and archaeological
questions regarding human behavior in the past.
Description and analysis of artifacts and ecofacts were designed to
identify differences and similarities between these particular sites. Such
archaeological variations were then linked to the structural and
organizational features of hunter-gatherer adaptations expected for the
region including Zion National Park. These expected adaptations regarding
the nature of hunter-gatherer lifeways are derived from current
evolutionary ecological, cross-cultural, and ethnoarchaeological ideas.
Artifact assemblages collected at sites 42WS2217 and 42WS2216 are related
to large mammal procurement and plant processing. Biface thinning flakes
and debitage characteristics suggest that stone tools were manufactured and
maintained at these locations. Site furniture such as complete ground
stone manos and metates, as well as ceramic vessel fragments, may also
indicate that these sites were repetitively used by logistically-organized
hunter-gatherers or collectors. The ceramic vessel fragments exhibit
attributes that are characteristic of Southern Paiute Utility ware circa
A.D. 1000 to 1400.