PROVO, Utah (KSTU) — Human remains and countless ancient artifacts are just some of the items archaeologists have uncovered near Utah Lake. They are searching for traces of the past at an ancient Fremont Indian site in Provo.
Students from BYU and UVU spend hours at the site each day, working through trenches and trying to uncover the story of the people who lived there a thousand years ago.
"This is where people lived and experienced life, so it's awesome to come experience a little bit of what their life was like," said Codi Frost, a UVU student.
Archaeologists believe farmland in Provo was one place where ancient Fremont Indians once lived. Artifacts found there date back to 800 AD.
"In the 1930's there were a 120-130 standing mounds with archeology on them. Today, we think these are the last three that remains," said Michael Searcy, BYU Archaeology Professor.
Archaeology professors and students from BYU and UVU have been working on the site since late April.
"We're only scratching the surface here and so we're really hoping so this can be preserved so we can take time recovering the artifacts and the archaeology that would tell us about the Fremont Indians in the future," Searcy said.
In three weeks, they've uncovered human remains, arrow heads, ceramic and pottery pieces, walls and living structures.
"The stuff is important, but what it can tell you about prehistoric people, you know, that's even more exciting I think," said David Yonder, UVU archaeology professor.
Not only does it give archaeologists a glimpse into the past but also – perhaps – the future.
"For developers, for city planners who are looking at this as a residential, a place for residential expansion, this kind of stands as a warning of what to expect in the future as we look at how the Fremont occupied this area," Searcy said.
It's an experience students say they could never get in a classroom.
"In a text book you can't feel the dirt and feel what's going on and feel that excitement of discovery," Frost said.
You can see these sites for yourself by setting up a tour with BYU.
You can contact them here: https://anthropology.byu.edu/Pages/home.aspx.