Tortuous and Fantastic
Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 28, Nos. 3 and 4
Issue editor: William D. Lipe, Washington State University
Cover image: Aerial view of the southern edge of Cedar Mesa along the San Juan River in morning light. In this view to the east, the San Juan River Gorge is visible at upper right, and Johns Canyon is at left. Although such spectacular geology draws visitors today, people in the distant past lived and farmed where there was arable soil on the mesa top and in some of the canyons. Image © Adriel Heisey.
Greater Cedar Mesa’s archaeological record documents thousands of years of human innovation, change, and movement. The rock art, buildings, and artifacts left by the people who made this landscape their own enable today’s visitors to understand something of those past lives. Now, the challenge is to powerfully protect that record while continuing to provide meaningful opportunities for discovery and reflection.
Links of interest related to each article are listed below. A bibliography for this issue is available here (opens as a PDF).
Tortuous and Fantastic: Cultural and Natural Wonders of Greater Cedar Mesa — William D. Lipe
Visiting Cedar Mesa (Bureau of Land Management; includes links to activities, regulations, and permit information)
In Brief: Change through Time in the Northern Southwest — William D. Lipe
Image credits, page 6: (top) pair of sandals, cat. no. 1468.164802, Laurie D. Webster, courtesy of the Field Museum; (middle) Clovis point, Jonathan D. Till; (bottom left) petroglyph panel © Donald J. Rommes.
Image credits, page 7: (top) Jeddito Black-on-orange (ancestral Hopi) pottery sherd, Jonathan D. Till; (middle) two-story masonry structure © Donald J. Rommes; (bottom left, and bottom right of page 6) cliff dwellings © Donald J. Rommes; (bottom right) pottery sherds at a site dating to the Pueblo II period, William D. Lipe.
Cliff Dwellers of Cedar Mesa, by Donald J. Rommes and William D. Lipe (Canyonlands Natural History Association, 2013)
More on the Pecos Classification: Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 27, No. 3, “Before the Great Departure”
A Natural History of Cedar Mesa — Stewart Aitchison
Cedar Mesa Sandstone (U.S. Geological Survey)
Permian Cutler Group (U.S. Geological Survey; opens as a PDF)
Early Archaeological Expeditions in Greater Cedar Mesa — Fred M. Blackburn
In Brief: Reverse Archaeology — Fred M. Blackburn
Cowboys & Cave Dwellers: Basketmaker Archaeology in Utah’s Grand Gulch, by Fred M. Blackburn and Ray A. Williamson (SAR Press, 1997)
Documenting Early Collections of Perishable Artifacts from Greater Cedar Mesa — Laurie D. Webster
NEW! October 2015, sideshow, Cedar Mesa Perishables, by Laurie Webster and Paul Stavast (opens in YouTube)
Culture History of Cedar Mesa Before 1300: Findings of the Cedar Mesa Project and Its Successors — William D. Lipe
Photo Essay: Canyons of Danger
The Lime Ridge Clovis Site — William E. Davis and Jonathan D. Till
Cedar Mesa Basketmaker II: The Story Continues — R. G. Matson
In Brief: Ancient Turkeys — Brian M. Kemp and William D. Lipe
Monumental Landscapes on Cedar Mesa — Jonathan D. Till and Winston B. Hurst
Photo Essay: Petroglyphs and Paintings of Greater Cedar Mesa — Sally J. Cole
Cole’s expanded photo essay is available here (opens as a PDF).
Younger Traces: Other Cedar Mesa Archaeologies — Winston B. Hurst and James G. Willian
The San Juan Mission — Stewart Aitchison
Photographing Cedar Mesa — Donald J. Rommes
Cedar Mesa’s Uncertain Future — Josh Ewing
Poem: Cedar Mesa, Cedar Mesa — Vaughn Hadenfeldt
Back Sight — William H. Doelle