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Thorne Cave, Northeastern Utah: Archaeology

  • Kent C. Day (a1)

Thorne Cave is a site in Cliff Creek Canyon, north-eastern Utah. Between 5000 and 2000 B.C. alluvial fill in the canyon reached the level of Thorne Cave and formed its floor. At this time, and intermittently for perhaps the next 200 years, peoples with a Desert Archaic cultural tradition camped on a dune near the cave mouth while the canyon and the cave continued to fill. Stratified camp debris was washed into the cave, and alluvium accumulated well above the cave brow, leaving a dead space in the dome area of the cave roof. Dissection of canyon alluvium later re-exposed Thorne Cave and washed away much of the evidence of human occupation. Radiocarbon-dated charcoal indicates that the site was occupied as early as 4230±250 years B.P. Materials recovered from Thorne Cave include redeposited charcoal and food-bone scrap; projectile points, small choppers and scrapers, manos, and grinding slabs; bone awls, needles, a pendant, a flaking tool, and a scapula seed-header; and impressions of twined basketry.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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