This collection contains research materials collected in conjunction with archaeological surveys conducted by William (Bill) Lipe and RG Matson during the 1970s and 2000s. These surveys covered some 800 sites in the Cedar Mesa highlands of southeastern Utah that are world-famous for their cliff dwellings, rock art panels, and canyon country scenery. Included here are reports, posters, presentations, theses, dissertations, articles, and addenda relating to the archaeology of Cedar Mesa. It is hoped that this work will create opportunities for further research and collaborations between archaeologists and students while encouraging respect for the fragile and sacred sites in the American southwest.

In some of the documents included here, selected figures or text passages may have been deleted or masked so as not to provide information on the specific locations of archaeological sites. This is in conformance with policies of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management under provisions of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

Collections in this community

  • Bears Ears Controversy

    This collection features posts and materials documenting the controversy over federal protection for lands including the Bears Ears National Monument and, thus, antiquities associated with the Cedar Mesa Project.
  • Cedar Mesa Research Materials

    This collection includes theses, dissertations, publications, presentations, and other research materials related to the Cedar Mesa Project managed by William (Bill) Lipe and R.G. Matson.

Recent Submissions

  • Bears Ears Controversy: Some Monumental Issues 

    Lipe, William D. (Archaeology Southwest, 1/8/2018)
    This blog post was published in January 2018 by WSU professor emeritus Bill Lipe in response to the Trump administration's announcement in December 2017 that it will radically shrink federally protected lands in Utah, ...
  • Bears Ears Controversy: Presidential Proclamation Modifying the Bears Ears National Monument 

    White House Press Office (12/4/2017)
    This proclamation by President Donald J. Trump details a significant reduction to the size of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante--previously federally protected lands in Utah. This reduction of ...
  • Grand Gulch: First Encounters and Lasting Impressions 

    Burrillo, R.E. (Blue Mountain Shadows: The Magazine of San Juan History, 2017-11)
    R.E. Burrillo hails from New York and, as an archaeologist, has an intense interest in the cultures of the Southwest. One of those cultures that he is particularly drawn to is that of the Ancestral Puebloans or Anasazi. ...
  • The Archaeology of Bears Ears 

    Burrillo, R.E. (SAA Archaeological Record, 2017-11)
    This report recounts the history of archaeology in the Bears Ears region of Utah (USA), including the Cedar Mesa Project.
  • Ideal-Free Distribution and Ancestral Pueblo Occupation of Cedar Mesa, Utah 

    McGill, Kendall (2017-04)
    Ideal-free distribution (IFD) has been increasingly adopted by archaeologists to address questions about the relationship between settlement distribution, environment, and economy. This behavioral ecology model theorizes ...
  • Costly Gobbling: Raising Turkeys in the Central Mesa Verde Area 

    Lipe, William D.; Ellyson, Laura; Bocinsky, Kyle; Lyle, Robin; Matson, R. G. (2017-03)
    This presentation focuses on comparisons of the Central Mesa Verde (CMV) and Northern Rio Grande (NRG) areas. Goals of the study included: 1.) Use NISP counts to assess relative abundance of turkey and artiodactyl bones ...
  • Bears Ears Archaeological Experts Gathering: Assessing and Looking Ahead 

    Doelle, Bill (Archaeology Southwest, 2017)
    This report shares the outcomes of a two-day gathering of archaeologists who work or have worked within what is now Bears Ears National Monument or in southeastern Utah more generally. Our gathering sought to tap their ...
  • Bears Ears Controversy: Presidential Proclamation -- Establishment of the Bears Ears National Monument 

    White House Press Office (12/28/2016)
    In this proclamation, the Office of the Press Secretary under the Barack Obama administration establishes Bears Ears National Monument.
  • Too Many Turkeys?? 

    Lipe, William D. (3/15/2016 )
    This PowerPoint presentation was delivered March 15, 2016, at Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde, AZ. It poses the question "Did raising extra corn for turkeys put too much stress on Pueblo farming in the AD 1200s?"
  • Too Many Turkeys?? 

    Lipe, William D.; Ellyson, Laura; Matson, R. G.; Lyle, Robin (3/1/2016 0)
    This PowerPoint presentation was delivered in March 2016 at the Society of Ethnobiology meetings in Tucson, AZ. The presentation has various goals, including: Describe increase in turkeys and decrease in artioodactyls in ...
  • Leaving Mesa Verde: The Great Pueblo Migrations of the 13th Century 

    Lipe, William D. (11/3/2015 )
    This presentation was given November 3, 2015, at Southern Methodist University. The presentation deals with questions about where the former inhabitants of the Cedar Mesa region in the American Southwest migrated to in the ...
  • A 2,500-Year Neolithic Revolution in the American Southwest 

    Lipe, William D. (11/3/2015 )
    This presentation briefly reviews diverse early agricultural site complexes in both the southern and northern parts of the American Southwest and questions the usefulness of a single concept of how the elements of a ...
  • Leaving Mesa Verde: The Great Pueblo Migrations of the 13th Century 

    Lipe, William D. (9/10/2015 )
    This presentation was given in May 2014 at the Spokane chapter meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). The presentation deals with questions about where the former inhabitants of the Cedar Mesa region in ...
  • Dynamics of Thirteenth-Century Depopulation of the Northern San Juan: The View from Cedar Mesa 

    Matson, R. G.; Lipe, William D.; Curewitz, Diane (8/12/2015 )
    This document comprises supplemental information to accompany the complete article submitted to the journal Kiva in August 2015.
  • Aggression, Aggregation, and Abandonment in Southwestern Prehistory 

    Coupland, Gary (8/5/2015 0)
    During the 12th and 13th centuries AD, and especially during the latter part of this time period, the various populations of Pueblo Indians of the Colorado Plateau began a process of abandonment. Gradually, they withdrew ...
  • Background Notes for the 1980 Turkey Pen ARPA Trial 

    Lipe, William D. (7/16/2015 )
    This document comprises notes by William D. Lipe, which he prepared in December 1979 at the request of the US Attorney, which was prosecuting the first court case brought under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act ...
  • The Kiln Conference at Crow Canyon: A Summary Report, 1991 to 1996 

    Ermigiotti, Paul (7/16/2015 )
    This report describes the Kiln Conference, whose purpose it is to examine Ancestral Puebloan pottery firing technology from a wide range of interests including potters, archaeologists, ethnobotanists and Native Americans. ...
  • Turkey Pen Excavation 

    Matson, R. G. (7/8/2015 0)
    The Cedar Mesa Project was an archaeological project on Cedar Mesa in SE Utah, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and co-directed by William (Bill) Lipe and R.G. Matson. This report provides background information ...
  • Woodrats Rule! Climbing and Coring in Southeast Utah Cliff Dwellings 

    Lipe, William D.; Matson, R. G. (4/1/2015 0)
    William (Bill) Lipe and RG Matson made this presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in San Francisco, April, 2015, in honor of archaeologist Tom Windes. Windes contributed to the archaeology ...
  • Geospatial Analysis of Cedar Mesa (Utah) Settlement Patterns 

    McGill, Kendall A. (1/1/2015 0)
    Settlement pattern analyses published by Matson, Lipe, and Haase (1988) contributed basic understandings of the distribution of the many small dispersed sites in the Cedar Mesa area of SE Utah, and of the environmental ...

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