Fremont archaeology, anthropology, maize farming


Archaeologists usually say that Fremont maize farming in the Great Salt Lake region began at about AD 400, and that a mid-1100s drought caused the ancient inhabitants of the region to give up farming. But radiocarbon dates from the region do not support these dates. The earliest dated maize and the earliest dated human skeletal remains with bone chemistry suggesting maize consumption both suggest that maize was not grown in the region until after AD 600. Also, recently obtained dates on maize from Fremont villages indicate that farming in the region continued into the AD 1200s. If the end of farming was a response to climatic fluctuations, the “great drought” of the late 1200s may have played a role, but a period of colder temperatures that began earlier in the 1200s may have presented an even greater challenge to successful farming.

Original Publication Citation

Christopher J. Allison and James R. Allison 2016 Chronology, Climate, and Fremont Maize Farming in the Great Salt Lake Region. Paper presented at the 35th Great Basin Anthropological Association Conference, Reno, Nevada. (presented by Christopher Allison)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date





Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor