Whiterocks Village Site

Altnough Whiterocks Village may not appear to be of special significance when compared to other excavated open “village” sites in Utah, it is, in fact, an extremely important site in a number of respects. First, it stands out from all of the excavated open sites in the Uinta Basin which are considered to be representative of the agricultural Fremont Culture. Of the approximately 20 sites in this category, only 13 have yielded, tottery, which at this tine is the only diagnostic of the Fremont Culture. These sites, with, the exception of Whiterocks Village, have yielded only a very small number of sherds, from 1 to 449, almost all of which is Uinta Gray. Uinta Gray pottery is considered to be the diagnostic pottery type for the variant of the Fremont Culture associated with the Uinta Basin. Given these facts, Whiterocks Village stands out as an apparent anomaly. At Whiterocks Village 5,675 pottery sherds were recovered, 5540 of which were Uinta Gray. Thus, although only partially excavated, the site has yielded more pottery than recovered from all of the other sites in the Uinta Basin combined. At this time, our state of knowledge of the prehistory of the Uinta Basin is so poor that the meaning of this particular situation is not at all clear. -/That is apparent is the fact that Whiterocks Village represents one of the most, if not the most, important sites of the Uinta Fremont Culture. This data could provide a key to understanding agricultural groups in Northeastern Utah and the adjacent areas of Wyoming and Colorado.

Excavation of Whiterocks Village also yielded Large quantities of other types of artifacts including chipped and ground stone, worked tone, shell, corncobs, and beans. In addition, 2 disarticulated skeletons were found. These artifacts also represent the largest collection from excavated Fremont site in the Uinta Basin.

The large quantity of cultural debris probably indicates an intensive occupation, the site may have been a permanent horticultural community. On the basis of architecture and radiocarbon dates (A.D. 320 and A.D. 360) the site has been assigned to the later Whiterocks Phase (A.D. 800-950) of the Uintah Fremont Culture.

The Whiterocks Village Site in Uintah County, Utah was added to the National Historic Register (#76001838) on January 1, 1976.