The Archaeology of Bears Ears

Bears Ears

Publication: The SAA Archaeological Record

Author: R. E. Burrillo

Date of Publication: November 2017

PDF File: SAA-Archaeological-Record.pdf


As of this writing, Bears Ears National Monument encompasses just over 1.3 million acres in southeastern Utah. While its boundary will almost always be contested or controversial, it is also arbitrary. Decades of archaeological research in the region suggests that the extent of what has always been a continuous cultural occupation area originally included much more of the surrounding landscape than what’s currently shoehorned into the monument boundary. Thus, the “Bears Ears area” as defined in this piece is composed of almost every major land form in the Utah portion of the Four Corners.