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, ...
  • Position on H.R. 4532, Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act 

    National Parks Conservation Association (2018-01)
    The National Parks Conservation Association submitted the following position to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Federal Lands Subcommittee ahead of a hearing scheduled for January 9, 2018.
  • Presidential Authority to Revoke or Reduce National Monument Designations 

    Gaziano, Todd F.; Yoo, John (2018)
    The Antiquities Act of 1906 grants the president the power to designate national monuments in order to protect historic landmarks and structures. Pursuant to this power, a president has the corresponding power to revoke ...
  • Turkey Pen Excavation 

    Matson, R. G. (2018)
    The Cedar Mesa Project was an archaeological project on Cedar Mesa in SE Utah, funded by the National Science Foundation and co-directed by William (Bill) Lipe and R.G. Matson. This report provides background information ...
  • 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 ...
  • H.R. 4532: Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act 

    Curtis, John (2017-12)
    This bill, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), builds on President Trump’s reduction of Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) and creates a tribally co-managed national monument in Utah.
  • 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.
  • Modeling Archaeological Sites and Forest History on Cedar Mesa, SE Utah 

    Matson, R. G.; Lipe, William D. (9/12/2017)
    Producing a model that successfully predicts archaeological site densities over a large area of more than 1,000,00 acres which had diverse prehistoric adaptations and diverse environments is an extremely difficult task. ...
  • The President Has No Power Unilaterally to Abolish or Materially Change a National Monument Designation Under the Antiquities Act of 1906 

    Rosenbaum, Robert; Shipe, Andrew; Beckett, Lindsey; Treaster, Andrew; Tyler, Jamen (5/3/2017)
    We (Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer) have been asked by our client, National Parks Conservation Association, whether a sitting President may unilaterally abolish or materially change a national monument that was established ...
  • 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.
  • Antiquities Act: Scope of Authority for Modification of National Monuments 

    Wyatt, Alexandra M. (Congressional Research Service, 2016-11)
    Beginning with President Theodore Roosevelt, Presidents have protected well over 100 areas under the Antiquities Act of 1906.1 These protected areas, totaling hundreds of millions of acres of land as well as large marine ...
  • 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 ...

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