Thursday, July 01, 2004

In Utah, Ancient Ruins Are Revealed After Long Wait

HORSE CANYON, Utah, June 30 — Archaeologists pulled aside a curtain on Wednesday to reveal what can only be called a secret garden: the pristinely preserved ruins of an ancient civilization that was long ago lost to the mists of time in the remote cliffs of eastern Utah, then resolutely protected over the last 50 years by a stubborn local rancher who kept mum about what he knew.

The ruins, called Range Creek, are spread over thousands of acres, much of it in inaccessible back country and reachable only through a single-track dirt road once owned by the rancher and recently bought by the State of Utah. Preliminary research dates the settlement from about A.D. 900 to 1100, during the period of the Fremont Indian culture.