Archaeology society to host presentation on Recapture, Nine Mile Canyons

Recapture Canyon in San Juan County, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Christine Oravec, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Dr. Jody Patterson of Montgomery Archaeological Consultants will speak to the Dixie Archaeology Society on “A Tale of Two Canyons: How Ancient Native American Sites Have Entered Into Activist and Extremist Ideologies and Why That’s a Really Bad Thing.”

Recapture Canyon, located just east of Blanding, Utah, houses hundreds of archaeological sites spanning several millennia of prehistoric and historic occupation. The spectacular cultural resources of the canyon have made it a popular attraction for locals’ and visitors’ recreational use for many years with very few problems. However, unauthorized trail improvements were made and motorized access to the canyon closed indefinitely.

Recapture Canyon became a symbol for various interest groups with land use ideologies at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Dr. Patterson will examine the implications of using cultural resources as leverage in the larger land management debate. He will also compare how similar processes resulted in very different outcomes for Recapture and Nine Mile canyons.

Dr. Patterson is a principal investigator for Montgomery Archaeological Consultants, Moab, Utah. He is/was personally involved in assessing cultural resources in Recapture Canyon and has been featured in the PBS Newshour series, “Culture at Risk.”

The presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Room 121 (Boeing Auditorium), Udvar-Hazy Building, 1000 East 300 South on the Dixie State University Campus. It is free to the public.

About the Dixie Archaeology Society

From its website:

The Dixie Archaeology Society is a group of individuals whose purpose is to educate the public regarding archaeological resources, especially rock art, within Utah, the Arizona Strip and Southern Nevada.

We accomplish our goal by:

1) Having monthly meetings with lectures from area experts

2) Having monthly field trips to local archaeological sites, lead by knowledgeable persons who can offer some level of interpretation
We believe that the preservation of rock art as well as other archaeological sites lies in education. This education must involve both lectures and class room teaching but also “hands on” experience. This also means that the public must be able to visit archaeological sites and view them “in situ” in order to appreciate value of the resource.

We believe that archaeological sites must remain open to the public for them to gain the full appreciation of “those who came before.” We must strive to make each site a “living museum.”


Dixie Archaeological Society | Website | Email: [email protected] | Mail: P.O. Box 611, Washington, UT 84780


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