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They discovered, protected behind the gates of the Wilcox Ranch, a remote and difficult to access canyon with an amazingly rich and relatively untouched archaeological record. Of course the Wilcox family and those that preceded them, were well aware of the canyon's archaeological heritage. Their stewardship and insistence that the property rights be respected, protected these fragile 1000 year old sites from the accelerated destruction that results from heavy unsupervised visitation.
This fourteen mile long “slice” of the past presents modern day researchers with the unexpected and unprecedented opportunity to study human adaptation in a variety of environmental settings that are physically linked in a single integrated and definable system. Completing an archaeological inventory of the more than 50,000 critical acres drained by Range Creek is a daunting task and will take decades to complete given the challenges of the terrain. Research opportunities for scientists and their students are limited only by their imagination and current technology, both of which will continue to become more sophisticated in the future.
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