Ancients: Modern Artifacts in Utah’s Clear Creek Canyon

In the mid-1980s, when it came time to build Interstate 70 through Utah’s Clear Creek Canyon, an entire Fremont Indian village was discovered directly in the path of the planned freeway. Ahead of the construction, archaeologists found over a hundred ancient structures—pit houses and small granaries. At the height of its occupation a thousand years ago, the impressive settlement was thought to have been home to hundreds of Fremont people. It’s the largest Fremont Indian village that has ever been found.

Today, the bluff that made up Five Finger Ridge and the large Fremont settlement is, for the most part, gone; it was always in the plans to bulldoze the area to make room for roadway and builders did just that when it came time to lay the pavement. But not all was lost. The discovery prompted the creation of the Fremont Indian State Park, a preserve headquartered just off the shoulder of the interstate on the banks of Clear Creek…

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