The Basketmaker presence in southern Utah has traditionally been viewed as peripheral to developments originating in the Four Corners region. Far Western Basketmaker Beginnings offers an entirely new and provocative perspective—that the origins of farming on the northern Colorado Plateau are instead found far to the west along Kanab Creek.
This volume, based on the results of excavations at Jackson Flat Reservoir south of Kanab, examines a litany of firsts: the earliest Archaic pithouses ever found in this region, evidence that maize farmers arrived here a thousand years earlier than previously reported, and the emergence of a complex Basketmaker farming and foraging culture. Specialists in Far Western Puebloan culture, architecture, settlement patterns, subsistence, chronometry, and prehistoric technologies make a compelling case that farming was introduced to the region by San Pedro immigrants, and that the blending of farmers with local foraging groups gave rise to a Basketmaker lifeway by 200 BC. This book marks a giant leap forward in archaeologists’ understanding of the earliest maize farmers north and west of the Colorado River.