Ashley National Forest, Utah, 1996
by Angela Edwards, Archaeological Technician
The Greendale Survey PIT project took place June 24–28, 1996. Little did we know when we arrived at the campsite on the first day of the project that we were in for quite an adventure! We anticipated finding some really interesting sites in the area because of what had been seen prior to our intensive survey. One crew encountered something that sounded a lot like a mountain lion. They decided a visual verification was not necessary. The week was also interesting because of the crazy weather. One afternoon we barely made it back to camp before the huge black cloud looming overhead let loose. The wind picked up and took almost everything in camp with it! The Robert’s tent was thrown to the ground, and they were forced to stay in the FS dorm that night. Because of the storm, we lost one person. (She gave up and went home to stay in Vernal.) We had strong winds every day, but did end up with a spectacular double rainbow one evening. The project was a success despite the weather and the wildlife. Thirty-five sites were recorded. The effort it took to climb up and down those big, bad rock outcroppings really paid off. Most of the sites were prehistoric. We recorded everything from a possible village site with 17 depressions (probably representing structures), to storage cists hidden high in the canyon walls and several rockshelters, to lithic scatters—both large and small. We collected several projectile points, but also found pieces of basketry, mud rings, pottery, and a Shoshone knife. FS Intern Kelda Wilson, a student at Idaho State University, will be able to incorporate information on the points in her thesis on projectile points from the Uinta Mountains.
One crew spent the week recording the site of the original town of Greendale, a turn-of-the-century town where a small school and the first Forest Service guard station in the area were located. The history buff on the district was incredibly excited about this effort. But this crew still loves prehistory, so they found stone-lined features next to the school house and large lithic scatters under all the historical-period sites they recorded.
I’m sure that most of the volunteers were satisfied with their experience. They seemed very happy when they left, but that may be because they were escaping from the weather! On a serious note, the project was a great success.