Red Cliffs Archaeological Site
The Red Cliffs Archaeological Site houses the remains of structures from when the Ancestral Puebloans were residing there intermittently from about 500 A.D. to 1200 A.D. The occupation spanned three distinct periods in Ancestral Puebloan history: Basketmaker III, Pueblo I, and Pueblo II. It is common to find habitation from these periods along water sources, in this case Quail Creek, where farming of maize and other crops was possible. One or two families lived together in pithouses, and later in multi-roomed surface pueblos. The families at this site were primarily sedentary farmers, cultivating small fields along the creek, but would also gather native plants and hunt. After 1200 A.D. the Ancestral Puebloans abandoned this site, possibly due to prolonged drought periods and climate change.
BLM archaeologists excavated this site between 1977 and 1979, assisted by Youth Adult Conservation Corps youth crews. Data from the Red Cliffs site provided knowledge about the Ancestral Puebloan culture and way of life in southwestern Utah, which scientists only had very little familiarity with at the time. Many artifacts were recovered, including stone tools and pottery, which are now curated at the museum at Southern Utah University.