Ancient Fremont pot now on display in USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum
A complete Fremont cooking vessel which was recovered from Nine Mile Canyon in the Spring of 2013 has been placed on display at the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum.
The pot was noticed on public lands managed by the BLM by a field crew of the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance.
Archaeologists have identified it as part of the Uinta Grayware ceramic tradition based on the small particles of crushed limestone used to temper the clay before firing. The center of production for this pottery type is the Uintah Basin. This region of Utah has an early Fremont occupation, with evidence of farming in the basin as early as 2000 years before present.
The museum's Archaeologist Dr. Tim Riley stated, "While it is always a surprise to find any complete pottery vessel, the fact that this pot is Uinta Grayware makes this find even more intriguing."
Most of the pottery recovered in Nine Mile Canyon over the last century has been Emery Grayware, which is the dominant pottery tradition south of the Tavaputs Plateau and along the San Rafael Swell.
Recent excavations in the canyon suggest that the presence of Uinta Grayware may have been overlooked in the past. This cooking vessel adds to that picture and reminds us how much we still have to learn about the history of Eastern Utah. Were these San Rafael Fremont groups sharing Nine Mile Canyon with groups from the north? Did the Uinta Fremont occupy the Tavaputs Plateau before the San Rafael Fremont? Were the Nine Mile villages trading for pottery from both the Uinta and San Rafael villages?
Riley said the pot itself isn't enough evidence one way or another, but it is another piece in a puzzle that may yield a better picture in time.
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