Blog Archive: Our Research

The Cave That Holds a Million Bones

Allison Wolfe, a graduate student in zooarchaeology and awardee of NHMU’s Summer Internship, is identifying tens of thousands of bird bones from Homestead Cave, home of the most fine-grained small animal record in the Western USA.

Fungi in the Gut: Bryn Dentinger’s Look at Microbiomes

Bryn Dentinger, NHMU’s Curator for Mycology, is on a mission to study the gut microbiomes of herbivorous animals in the Intermountain West. He’ll be cataloguing the biodiversity of fungal microbes and providing a baseline for future comparative studies. 

Bold Figures, Blurred History: The Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon

The Great Gallery is one of the most significant pictograph panels in the American Southwest, yet archaeologists have struggled over when it was created and what it could mean.

To the Top: Adventurous Researchers Unlock Changes in Animal Communities

Dr. Eric Rickart, Dr. Shannen Robson and Dr. Lois Alexander have spent the past 15 years examining species of mice, voles, and squirrels (among other animals) in the American Great Basin to better understand how and why there are changes occurring within their communities.

Top 5 Dinosaur Myths

NHMU Curator of Paleontology, Randy Irmis, helps to clarify some common misconceptions about dinosaurs.

In the Tiny World of Starch Grains, Bigger is Better

It takes a thorough understanding of the biology of starch to determine which starch grains are being recovered from archaeological sites. Lisbeth Louderback, our Curator of Archaeology, has discovered that bigger grains yield the best information for identification purposes.

Good News About Carbs, Told by Archaeobotanists

By studying the diets of ancient peoples, archaeobotanists may help to provide some answers for modern agricultural challenges. Carbohydrate-rich plants are adding to the story of ancient agriculture and plant domestication.

Utah, home to the oldest chocolate in the U.S.

Producing artisan chocolate is hot in Utah today, but our history with cacao dates back further than you'd think.

Utah’s Ancient Cacao: A Surprising Find

No archaeologist would have guessed it, but the oldest evidence of cacao use in the Southwestern U.S. was found in an Ancestral Puebloan village in Utah.

Chocolate: Its Origins

Chocolate has a long history with humans - evidence of cacao use dates back to as early as 1900 B.C. Learn about the origins of this beloved plant.