Bears Ears And The Scramble To Piece Together Eons Of Stories Of Human Life

by Dave Sadler

Jonathan Till was examining some new donations – a basket, a ladle, a flute and clay pots – back when I met him last year.

“Normally, we don’t take things that don’t have any good excavation or locational information behind them,” said Till, an archaeologist and curator at the Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, which features archaeology from the area. “If I don’t know where it’s from, how does this inform us?”

A local patriarch had collected the artifacts long ago, Till said. And when he passed away, no one could say where they’d been found. The curator thought they might be more than 800 years old – up to 1,000-years-old, but he couldn’t be sure. If he knew where they were originally found – at a kiva, for instance – the pieces could tell him lots more.

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