Comfortably nestled along the far wall in the Hall of Archaeology at the USU Prehistoric Museum is a remarkable example of a bygone way of life. Native American conversations round the hearth are overheard as dinner cooks in a ceramic pot over the hearth fire as cornmeal is prepared on a metate. Baskets and other Fremont tools displayed throughout the exhibit demonstrate the Fremont lifestyle in Eastern Utah from 400-1300 AD.
In a continuing effort to bring the best possible experience to the public, the Prehistoric Museum’s completed exhibit renovation has breathed new life into their pithouse diorama. There is no need to wonder what life might have been like among the Fremont a thousand years ago; this exhibit clearly displays the life of the Fremont. Giving the pithouse a lived-in look and feel complete with sound effects and additional small details has elevated the visitor’s experience to another level of understanding and entertainment. The museum’s dedication to bring interactive, educational, accurate and realistic exhibits to the public is evident in this renovated exhibit. It is a main goal of the museum to ensure a level of authenticity that educates and regales the visitor with a story they are not likely to forget.
“While the Valley Village pithouse reconstruction has always been a highlight in the Hall of Archaeology, the recent changes bring a Fremont household to life,” the museum’s curator of archaeology explained. “The additional details and detailed signage allow the visitor to imagine living in a Fremont community while highlighting the cultural differences and similarities with our own households today.”
The Prehistoric Museum, located at 155 East Main Street in Price, Utah is a multi-faceted venue that includes paleontology, archaeology, geology and an art gallery. Regular hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sunday. General admission rates apply. Please visit https://usueastern.edu/museum/ for additional closures, admission rates and other important information.
Photo is courtesy of the Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum. The pithouse reproduction in the museum is based on the 1936 excavation of Valley Village in Nine Mile Canyon by John P. Gillen.