Archaeological Observations North of the Rio Colorado

Archeological Observations North of the Rio Colorado was originally published in 1926 as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of American Ethnology (Bulletin 82). It contains the report of six seasons of fieldwork undertaken by Neil M. Judd for the Bureau between 1915 and 1920 in western Utah and northwestern Arizona. The original investigation set out to examine alleged prehistoric sites near Beaver, Utah—specifically sites related to the “Pueblo ruins” found elsewhere in the Southwest. This in turn led to a much larger project, as there were more sites than expected recognized as having a cultural affinity with other prehistoric Puebloan sites. During these six years, Judd’s team covered a region from the Grand Canyon to the northern shore of the Great Salt Lake, east to the Green River and west into the deserts of Nevada.

This book is part of the University of Utah Press’s ongoing effort to reprint selected out-of-print volumes that apply directly to Utah archaeology, in an attempt to allow current students easier access and use of historic information. Owing to continued development, increased artifact collection, and on-going degradation, Utah archaeology is far different today than it was a century ago. The scientific works of these early archaeologists provide a glimpse of the variability that existed within sites and geographic areas in the early 1900s and gives a picture of Utah archaeology in an earlier era.

Neil M. Judd (1887-1976) was a pioneer of southwestern archaeology. He participated in 24 investigations and served 39 years at the United States National Museum, a unit of the Smithsonian Institution. He was the principle investigator during the excavations of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon.

Richard Talbot is director of the Office of Public Archaeology at Brigham Young University.

Table of Contents:


I. Field work, season of 1915
Mounds near Willard
Mounds north of Willard
Mounds west of Great Salt Lake
Mounds near Ogden
Mounds in Salt Lake Valley
Mounds in Utah Valley
Mounds near Beaver
Additional observations near Beaver
Mounds in Parowan Valley
Archeological sites in Cedar Valley
Archeological sites near St. George
Archeological sites, east of St. George
Archeological sites near Kanab
Cottonwood Canyon

II. Field work, season of 1916
Observations at Paragonah
Explorations in Millard County
Additional archeological sites

III. Field work, season of 1917
Review of archeological observations at Paragonah
Use of adobe elsewhere

IV. Field work, season of 1918
Observations in House Rock Valley
Ruins near Saddle Mountain
Ruins on Walhalla Plateau

V. Field work, season of 1919
Observations in Cottonwood Canyon

VI. Field work, season of 1920
Observations west of Kanab Creek
Prehistoric ruins on Paria Plateau
The ruins of Bed Rock Canyon
Observations in Bright Angel Creek
Archeological remains west of Kaibab Plateau

VII. Cultural material
Bone implements
Stone implements
Wooden artifacts
Vegetal food
Skeletal remains


Appendix I. Locality and catalogue number of objects illustrated

Appendix II. Average dimensions of rooms excavated