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Sandy Journal

Construction Crews Discover Ancient Site In Dimple Dell

May 22, 2015 08:50AM ● By Aimee L Cook

Archaeological technician Michael Hori digs through ancient remains found in Dimple Dell.

Wandering along the trail heads in Dimple Dell Canyon, you are sure to find places where people have camped or even cooked. But when Questar Gas construction crews were in the area near the Wrangler Trailhead working on a natural-gas pipeline, they uncovered something more, something ancient. 

Projectile point found at pit house in Dimple Dell.

Workers discovered soot-stained rock and charcoal debris, and would later learn they had found a prehistoric dwelling, complete with a pit house.  Archeologist Lance McNees of Ecologic Environmental Consultants, which contracts with Questar, was called in to take a look at the findings.  They began excavating and removing the overburden to get at the small remnants. Originally it was thought that the site was 3,000 years old, but after further removal of the remnants, they now feel the site is closer to between 500 and 1,500 years old.

“There have not been very many of those excavations in the Salt Lake Valley,” McNees said. “It is an uncommon thing, so it really provides a lot of data to us as archeologists. We collected all the artifacts, took samples of the dirt in the pit house and all the other raw data, and then it was covered up and reclaimed.”

Many items have been found for researchers to analyze from this ancient site alone.  Animal bones, an obsidian cutting tool or hunting tip, several projectile points and other stone tools were uncovered and labeled for further research to learn more about the indigenous people who lived there. 

“What an interesting history this area enjoys,” Mayor Dolan said. “To think these ancient sites exist right here in our community testifies to the rich heritage that Utah offers. We need to protect and preserve this newfound discovery.”