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Thread: Danger And JukeBox Caves

  1. #1

    Danger And JukeBox Caves

    These two caves have had virtually continuous human use since humans arrived in the Great Basin. They've been made state parks but have no budget or staff allotted. To protect the caves and the ongoing archaeology in them, the State has had the caves barred and gated.

    The archaelogical layers of the cave give an unbroken history, within the limits of interpreting artifacts. Additionally, these are "dry caves" in a very dry environment offering excellent preservation. UMNH has a display on Dry Caves using Danger Cave as it's model.

    GranitePeaks has offered an adult/continuing education class field trip to these caves under the supervision of an archaeologist.

    Danger Cave Field TripMany people donít know that a little over a hundredmiles from Salt Lake is one of the most importantanthropological sites in the Americas - Danger Cave.In this cave thousands of human artifacts have beenfound dating back 12,000 years ago. These are some ofthe oldest human artifacts discovered on this continent.Join an anthropologist on a trip back in time to betterunderstand this phenomenal site. The first class is held ina classroom for a preliminary overview of the site as wellas all the logistics needed to prepare for the field trip. Thesecond class travels to the cave for a guided tour withour anthropologist/instructor.Skyline TH 6:30 Ė 8:00 PM X2 Jun 11 $59 $49
    The dates and perhaps the prices quoted above will be different the next time the class is offered. They offer new classes about every two months, though I don't know when this class might be offered next.

    Danger and Jukebox caves are in limestone and are pockets dissolved under Lake Bonneville. The bottom layer of the sediment in each cave is Bonneville gravels. Approximately 11000 years ago, Lake Gilbert was still a fresh water lake with these two caves at it's shoreline. (http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_cha...onneville.html second to last paragraph) As the lake continued to recede there was a good sized marsh/wetlands in front of these caves up until the 1920/30s when the water was diverted for other use, drying up these wetlands. The availability of fresh water and food made these caves attractive primitive shelters.

    I shot my pix with my phone thinking HDR mode would do better than my cheap point and shoot. I was wrong. My images are fuzzy, but will still give an idea of what you can see here if you're willing to take the class. As part of accessing the caves, you have to wear an issued hard hat and sign a state waiver.

    Entrance into Danger Cave



    Showing some of the back of the cave. The back of the cave was their trash and bathroom area.



    An archaeology trench towards the front of Danger Cave with a number of tags and labels. The bottom is at the Bonneville gravels level, though there's been some dirt collapse in on it a bit.


    Further back in the cave is another trench with much better stratigraphy. The red selection is a cooking hearth. There's some juniper bark sticking out of this wall which my photo completely failed to capture. It was one of their common fiber sources.




    This is the same trench but with a view of the left wall. The girl is kneeling on the Bonneville Gravels. Again, you can see some cooking smears, these dated to about 8500 years ago.




    Now I'm in the trench. The red selection is an animal bone protruding from another cooking smear, approximately 500 years later than the big smear below. The yellow selections are pickleweed chaff. Danger Cave is notable for pickleweed. Lots of pickleweed. They were after the seeds.




    Jukebox cave

    First up are some animal bones eroding out of the entry hill just inside the cave. These are mountain sheep and show signs of being broken up for accessing the marrow.


    Jukebox cave has some pictographs with riders on horses, some animals and standing figures.






    The concrete dance floor is toward the back of the cave and that picture was a total failure. Jukebox Cave, while ostensibly a dry cave does show some signs of early cave formation. It's not as dry as Danger Cave.

    Our guide had his atlatl recreation of one from Rasmussen Cave in the Nine Mile Canyon area and we got to play with that. The original is in the Peabody Museum. http://basketmakeratlatl.com/?page_id=34 gives some dimensions--look for the Nine Mile Canyon entry. Note the stone weight on the one in the diagram below, and the finger thongs. His was much like this.




    And he took us off to a drainage that showed the Gilbert shore gravels and mazama ash from the Crater Lake eruption 7000 YA.

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  4. #2
    I'm curious why the restroom area would be located inside the cave rather than outside somewhere to avoid the smell, and to biodegrade faster.

  5. #3
    It is curious.

    My supposition is that this was thought to be a winter base camp. Perhaps. over the part of the year they lived there it could dry out and clear out while they were hunting and gathering elsewhere. But the back of the cave is where the coprolites were.

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