The Home Depot of A.D. 1000 Payson, located roughly between the two large alligator junipers (red arrows) near the top of the right side of this ridge. Click to supersize.
Four or five different cherts outcrop here and roll down the hill in the form of fist-sized nodules. Some of the people living in the small settlement below scooped them up, knocked thin flakes from them with round stone hammers, and turned those flakes into arrowheads by pressure-flaking tiny chips from their edges. The analytical problem I'm exploring is how the staggering number of artifacts--mostly waste flakes that are the byproduct of the manufacturing technique and broken arrowheads that got thrown away--can be used to infer the scale and organization of the little industry centered here at the base of an otherwise unremarkable hill, one among dozens in the immediate area, but one that just happened to be loaded with the kind of stone favored for arrowheads back in the day.
One of the larger nodules on the hill (above handle), with prehistoric flakes (below handle). Click to supersize!
I came home with a backpack full of samples and a roll of maps I have yet to mark up. The scenery was lovely, even if fall has been a bit late in coming this year.
Oak leaves against a brilliant blue sky.
Butterfly on thistle, with inquisitive bee making an appearance at lower left.
I leave you with this image from Star Valley. I do not know why the adult cabaret chose a giant steer as its mascot, except that there are a lot of ranches in the area. We tried not to think about that one too hard when we drove by.