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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Archaeology Channel Features Range Creek

The Archaeology Channel website is hosting a 34-minute video about the pristine ancient Fremont Indian rock art and ruins found in Range Creek – an extremely remote canyon in east-central Utah. You can watch the video here.

The Range Creek site has been called one of the most significant archaeological finds in the US in the last 50 years. The site was purchased by the federal government in 2004. At that time The Washington Post published a comprehensive article that includes these statements:

“For six decades, Wilcox and his family kept tight control over public access to a 12-mile stretch of Range Creek that had been the site of a bustling Fremont tribe community in the first millennium A.D. Few knew of its existence and Wilcox closely controlled the archaeologists and researchers he did permit to visit.

“But now the aging rancher has turned over his 4,000-acre spread to the government -- and handed public land managers a significant dilemma along with it.

"’A piece of ancient America like this, that has not been looted or vandalized, is almost unique -- an absolute treasure of our national history," said Kevin Jones, the Utah state archaeologist. "So the stupidest thing we could do is just open the gate.

"’But this is public land now, and we owe it to the American public to let them see this fantastic collection of historic sites, so they can appreciate it and learn from it. The problem is how to balance public access with preservation.’"

The excellent video, produced by KUED, showcases the site and discusses its management. You can learn more about the video and Range Creek at the KUED website.

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