​Provo Mounds - 2015 Archaeology Field School

About 1000 years ago the Fremont Indians occupied a large village on the eastern shores of Utah Lake where the people took advantage of the fertile farming lands and lake resources.  At one time over 120 mounds with evidence of Fremont structures were dotted along the Provo River Delta, but a century of urban sprawl and agricultural development has left only a handful of these mounds.

Directed by Mike Searcy ​(BYU) and David Yoder ​(UVU), students at the 2015 field school excavated a portion of this village at the Hinckley Mounds. This site has had a long history of research by archaeologists at BYU, the University of Utah, and avocational archaeologists. Unfortunately little has been published regarding this sprawling village, so a primary objective of this year's excavation was to better characterize the Fremont of Utah Lake and to sythesize previous work. The excavation lasted from April until June, and the crew unearthed two pitstructures and an adobe-walled building. They found numerous artifacts including ceramics, projectile points, ground stone tools, faunal bones, and human remains.

In addition to excavation, students learned how to conduct pedestrian survey in the Manti-La Sal Forest, east of Moab, Utah. They identified and documented sites that lie along several access roads to help the US Forest Service inventory threatened cultural resources.