Danger Cave still evokes life as it was on a Great Salt Lake 8,000 years ago

The cave overlooked a swampy wetland 8,000 years ago, and water fed by nearby springs provided a good place for hunter-gatherers to set up a winter base camp.

(Judy Fahys | InsideClimate News) Ron Rood of Metcalf Archaeological Consultants leads tours of western Utah’s Danger Cave, considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Great Basin. Detritus in the cave, which has been visited by humans for more than 12,000 years, helps tell the story of how humans have faced climate change.

Many Salt Lakers who drive the 120 miles to Wendover are looking for the kind of rest and relaxation they can’t find in the beehive state: gambling, cheap liquor, or maybe even some recreational marijuana.

But archaeologist Ron Rood has something else on his mind when he embarks on his regular trips – preserving ancient history.

Rood works for Metcalfe Archaeological Consultants who work with the state to manage Danger Cave State Monument.

“We no longer build sites with components that are 12,000 years old,” he said on a cold Sunday morning in early December. “So it’s really important that these sites are protected.”

Danger Cave is located in a limestone bluff overlooking Interstate 80 and the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. It formed when ancient Lake Bonneville covered about 20,000 square miles and reached as far north as Idaho and Nevada and as far north as Fillmore, Utah. But the combination of a ruptured natural dam 14,500 years ago and climate change has caused the inland sea to shrink.

To read more, visit KUER.org.

This article is published by the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of Utah news organizations dedicated to educating readers across the state.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/12/28/danger-cave-still-evokes-life-it/ Danger Cave still evokes life as it was on a Great Salt Lake 8,000 years ago

Justin Scacco

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