Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair(s)

Judson Finley


Judson Finley


Erick Robinson


Molly Cannon


Tim Riley


Perishable artifacts provide ample opportunity to better understand past human lives. Artifacts constructed from shorter-lived plant materials can make a significant contribution to archaeological research through radiocarbon dating. Analyzing and radiocarbon dating the basketry construction types from the Pectol Collection aids in the development of a more precise prehistoric timeline for the Capitol Reef and Waterpocket Fold (CRWF) area of southeastern Utah. Basketry technology construction is treated as a signal for growing Fremont occupancy throughout the Colorado Plateau and eastern Great Basin, and can the provide prior information used to better organize Bayesianbased age models. From AD 750–1050, a narrow window of regionally stable environmental conditions could have promoted agricultural intensification, with peak occupancy occurring in northern Fremont regions during AD 840–1080. New data will test the hypothesis that peak CRWF occupation in the south occurred simultaneously with Cub Creek in the north. However, compared to their northern neighbors, Fremont occupancy in the CRWF peaked later in time, closer to AD 1100. Future research can use new data to examine whether agricultural communities in the northern Colorado Plateau formed earlier but persisted for a shorter period of time than those in the eastern Great Basin.