Arts & Entertainment

Park City Museum lecture: Historical archaeology of Great Salt Lake

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City Museum will host a lecture called Historical Archaeology of Great Salt Lake given by Chris Merritt on Wednesday, April 19, from 5-6 p.m. held at the Park City Museum Education and Collections Center located at 2079 Sidewinder Drive.

Since the shorelines of Lake Bonneville receded, Great Salt Lake has featured prominently in the natural and cultural history of North America and beyond. Humans possess a close connection to the lake as well, from early Paleoindians hunting mammoths on its marshy shores to Fremont villages and agricultural fields nestled at its shores. More recently, the lake has been seen as a place of exploration, recreation, and commerce. The salty brine featured as a major recreational draw, supporting several different bathing resorts from Black Rock to Lakeside to Saltair (I, II, and III). All of these past humans and their activities have left a physical reminder on the ground in the form of archaeology. Come explore those remains from the historic period.

Merritt received his Ph.D. from the University of Montana in anthropology in 2010, focusing on the archaeological and historical investigations of the Overseas Chinese. Before that, he received a Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University, where he studied the trade and consumption of Mormon-produced pottery in Utah.  Since 2004, Merritt has worked in a variety of professional archaeological settings, including the United States Forest Service in Utah and Nevada, private archaeological contracting in Salt Lake City, and finally, as the State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of Utah. In addition to full-time employment with the State of Utah, he is Adjunct Faculty at Salt Lake Community College and Weber State University, where he teaches courses on Historical Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management.

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