2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 29-21
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM

THE FREMONT IRRIGATION PROJECT, CENTRAL UTAH


LUGO MENDEZ, Anastasia M.1, SIMMS, Steven R.1, CANNON, Molly Boeka2, RITTENOUR, Tammy3, PIERSON, Nancy Kay4 and ALLRED, Brandi1, (1)Department of Anthropology, Utah State University, 0730 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, (2)Director, Spatial Data Collection, Analysis and Visualization Lab, Utah State University, 0730 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, (3)Department of Geology and Luminescence Laboratory, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, (4)Department of Biology, Utah State University, 5305 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, lugomendezam@gmail.com

A Fremont irrigation system near Capitol Reef National Park in central Utah first shown to Noel Morss in 1928 is now known to be 4.5 miles long. A small ditch transported water (ca. 1.5 ft3 /second) from Pleasant Creek at 8,500' on Boulder Mountain to Jorgenson Flat, a 90 acre field at 7,100', and near large Fremont sites below. Fieldwork spanning 2010 – 2014 includes mapping the ditch route, excavations to expose profiles of subsurface ditches and linear sections of ditch, experimental archaeology to assess the costs of system construction and maintenance, and magnetometer survey to prospect for field modification at the terminus of the ditch system. Here we report progress in 2014 on chronology using optically stimulated luminescence dating and magnetometer imaging. We also evaluate traditional thinking about the Fremont in light of irrigation agriculture.