Small Artifact is Big Find for BLM: Youth Credited With Proper Reporting

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Last week, BLM Cultural Resource Management staff recovered a Native American clay vessel on public lands managed by the Color Country District Bureau of Land Management. The painted vessel was discovered by a staff member and students from a youth recovery program traveling in the area. В The artifact is believed to be of Fremont Indian heritage.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life and I’ve been working in this field since ‘77,” exclaimed Craig Harmon, archaeologist from the BLM Richfield Field Office. Harmon continues, “This piece is very special for a number of different reasons but first and foremost its integrity is nearly intact, only a few hairline cracks, it’s a real beauty.”

Harmon credits the youth recovery program for doing the right thing. “These days a lot of what you hear in the news centers around the problems of today’s youth, here’s an example of the next generation doing the right thing, the right thing in not disturbing the artifact and doing the right thing by reporting the find to proper authorities,” said Harmon.  Harmon feels encouraged that archaeological education is making a difference.

The retrieval process was tenuous; involving an arduous hike up steep slopes and the delicate extrication of the precious clay pot. The next phase of the find is searching for the pot’s rightful owners. Harmon has contacted the tribes of the Ute, Paiute, Zuni, Hopi and the Navajo with information of the find. Ultimately, final disposition of the piece will be determined through consultation with the partnering tribes.

To learn more about our cultural heritage, visit: https://www.blm.gov/pgdata/content/wo/en/res/Education_in_BLM/Learning_Landscapes/For_Teachers/Heritage_Education.html

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