Shifting Sands OP #13


The Archaeology of Sand Hollow

Anthropology and Archaeology

Hidden beneath the beautiful shifting dunes within the Sand Hollow Basin of southwestern Utah are thousands of campsites dating from the Early Archaic period into Historic times. The sites attest to life in a marginal environment, where small groups of people moved outward from the nearby Virgin River into the surrounding landscape, seasonally exploiting a surprisingly rich variety of plants and animals. This report summarizes archaeological, geomorphological, botanical, and climatological studies that have expanded our understanding of Native American land use and subsistence in this hot desert environment.

Anthropology and Archaeology

Hidden beneath the beautiful shifting dunes within the Sand Hollow Basin of southwestern Utah are thousands of campsites dating from the Early Archaic period into Historic times. The sites attest to life in a marginal environment, where small groups of people moved outward from the nearby Virgin River into the surrounding landscape, seasonally exploiting a surprisingly rich variety of plants and animals. This report summarizes archaeological, geomorphological, botanical, and climatological studies that have expanded our understanding of Native American land use and subsistence in this hot desert environment.


Richard K. Talbot is director of the Office of Public Archaeology at Brigham Young University.
Lane D. Richens is a senior staff archaeologist with the Office of Public Archaeology at Brigham Young University.


Table of Contents:
Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables

1. Project Overview
2. Research Context
3. The Rock Complex and Small Site Tests
4. The Dune Complex
5. Sand Hollow Site Chronology
6. Material Culture
7. Holocene Climatic Change in Sand Hollow
8. Sand Hollow and Human Adaptation Through Time
Works Cited

Appendix A: Regional Radiocarbon Dates
Appendix B: Obsidian Sourcing Reports
Appendix C: Dune Stability, Paleoenvironments, and Archaeology of Sand Hollow
Appendix D: Summary of Pollen and Macrofloral Analyses