Natural History Museum of Utah

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Fremont Culture

In his 1931 publication of The Ancient Culture of the Fremont River in Utah Noel Morss provided the first description of an archaeological assemblage (tools, pottery, rockart, architecture) that would define the Fremont Culture, distinguishing them from their Anasazi neighbors to the south. 

The name was taken from the river in south central Utah along which he had found artifacts left behind by a prehistoric people whose name for themselves is lost to history and whose ultimate fate is unknown. 

What we do know is that between about A.D. 300 – A.D. 1300, across most of what is now Utah and parts of Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado the way people had been living changed.  They added corn, beans, and squash to their diet that had been based on the wild resources they could hunt or gather.  However, unlike their agricultural Anasazi neighbors who relied heavily on farming, wild resources continued to be a significant part of the Fremont diet.   These people became more settled, building sturdier houses (pithouses) and storage facilities (granaries) of stone and mud.