This project uses tree-ring data and the largest set of pristine Fremont sites with structural timbers yet identified to illuminate various aspects of the Fremont occupation of northeastern Utah, past climate variability and human responses to that variation at both long and short time scales. In addition, it contributes significantly to understanding the demise of Fremont Culture in the region post AD 1300, and the subsequent Ute/Numic occupation of eastern Utah and western Colorado via the development of long tree-ring chronologies for the area. In short, we had three major goals:

  • The development of long tree-ring chronologies
  • The dating and interpretation of prehistoric and historic period archaeological sites, and
  • Retrodicting past precipitation for the area

    The development of long tree-ring chronologies (700+ years) has many benefits. Although some chronologies exist for northeast Utah (see background below), the addition of new local chronologies and different species will contribute to both archaeological and climate research.

    The dating of archaeological and historic period sites will contribute significantly to understanding past human use of this unique landscape. With known Fremont, Numic (Ute), and Euroamerican occupations, we believe the project has great potential for elucidating past land use practices of all these groups.

    Finally, the development of new long ring series from climatically sensitive trees can make a major contribution to understanding past climate in the Range Creek area. We can retrodict rainfall patterns that may be of interest not only to archaeologists and historians, but to land managers and planners as well.