History of Fremont, Utah

Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)

Most archaeologists believe the Fremont developed out of existing groups of hunter-gatherers on the Colorado Plateau and in the eastern Great Basin. These small groups were, like their Fremont descendants, diverse, flexible, and adaptable. They ranged from fairly large and relatively sedentary populations in environments where resources were more readily accessible, to small, highly mobile family-sized groups where resources were widely dispersed. Over a span of about a thousand years, from sometime after 2,500 years ago to about 1,500 years ago, different groups of these hunter-gatherers gradually adopted, in a piecemeal fashion, many of the traits associated with the farming societies of the Southwest and Mexico.

First, corn and other cultivated plants (called domesticates), initially developed in what is now Mexico, then diffused northward throughout the greater Southwest and were added to the wild food subsistence base of native people sometime about 2,500 to 2,000 years ago in areas on either side of the southern Wasatch Plateau. This early use of corn and other domesticates occurred well before settled villages developed, and it seems that farming at first was just a part-time affair practiced by people who were still essentially nomadic hunters and gatherers. The earliest "Fremont" corn, radiocarbon dated to 2,340-l,940 years ago, comes from a cache near Elsinore, Utah; corn in sites along Muddy Creek in the San Rafael Swell date to just after the time of Christ. These sites suggest that farming was well established in some areas by 2,000 years ago. Outside this region, however, full-time hunting and gathering lifestyles seem to have continued unchanged. For example, in the deserts of the eastern Great Basin, at all of the many cave sites like Fish Springs, Lakeside, Black Rock, and Danger Cave, domesticates are absent throughout this early period and subsistence was based entirely on wild foods.

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