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The First Peoples

People have lived here for a while.

When do you think the first people arrived in Utah?

corn cobs, pottery sherds, and other artifacts

Some artifacts left behind by people of the Ancestral Puebloan culture.

People have been in Utah for 12,000 years or more.

How do we know people have been here so long? Archaeologists have found the artifacts they left behind.

By studying these artifacts, archaeologists have learned that people have used lots of different strategies to stay alive and thrive--just like today.

And just like today, people loved their families, lived in different kinds of shelters, got sick, worried, played with children and dogs, fought, made beautiful and useful things, cried when loved ones died, and told stories.

rock art

A man painted by someone who belonged to what archaeologists call the Fremont culture.

In short, they were human, like you.

You can see traces of these ancient people in the ruins and rock art of the Southwest.

If you visit these places, you will be standing right where people stood thousands of years ago. When you visit, think about what life was like for these ancient people.

Please take care not to damage or steal any of these traces! They are priceless. Besides, your kids and grandkids will want to visit these places.