Chipeta Chapter Logo

Next Meeting

Steve Baker
President and Principal Investigator
Centuries Research, Inc.
An Archaeological Tour of Important Fremont Sites on the Douglas Creek Arch,
Rio Blanco County, Colorado
January 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Baldridge Hall, Montrose United Methodist Church
(at the corner of S. 1st Street and Park Avenue)
Steve Baker

From 1985 to 1993 I had a dream job as the project archaeologist for Chandler and Associates, an independent natural gas company, that was then intensively exploring and drilling wells on the prominent Douglas Creek Arch south of Rangely, Colorado. My area of undertaking involved nearly 30,000 acres which contained one of the finest clusterings of Fremont sites known to exist in Colorado. In many ways it was a reflection of Nine Mile Canyon from where these Fremont people likely hived off. The topography of this area of the Douglas Arch was so rugged that roads and drill pads could not typically be laid out without adversely affecting Fremont, as well as many Numic Sites. This situation led to the testing and substantial excavation of a number of pristine single component house sites and the assemblage of what still seems to be the largest and best single database ever assembled for the Fremont in Colorado.

In this Powerpoint supported program I will take my audience on a tour of the more important Fremont sites I worked on during this program. These will include: The Sky Aerie Charnel Site, The Rim Rock Hamlet, The Sandshadow Site, and granaries and rock art.

Steve Baker, has a B.A. in anthropology with a geology minor and an MA in history. He is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Anthropology at Colorado State University, and he regularly works as an ethnohistorian and archaeologist. He has devoted himself to archaeology since 1964 and routinely works in western Colorado prehistoric and historic contexts. He is a charter member of the Colorado and Utah professional archaeological councils. His areas of special interest include contact period Indian studies and the historical archaeology of mining and the Victorian settlements of Colorado. In addition to his intensive investigations of the Fremont and Ute occupations of the Douglas Creek Arch near Rangely, Colorado, Baker has made substantial published contributions to the ethnohistory and archaeology of Colorado’s Ute Indians. He is the author of two recent books on the exploration and culture of western Colorado: Juan Rivera’s Colorado: 1765, finalist for the 2017 Colorado Book Award; and My Name is Pacomio, a tribute to Colorado’s preeminent aspen tree carver and master folk artist.

Baker is now partially retired after serving since 1977 as founder, President, and Principal Investigator of Centuries Research, Inc. of Montrose. Centuries was the first private firm to receive cultural resource permits from the BLM and Forest Service for CRM consulting work on public lands in Colorado. He presently resides on a small farm near Montrose with his wife, Nancy Ellen. His office and laboratory are also on the farm so he usually stays pretty close to home. It is from his farm that Baker focuses his business interests and professional work and involves himself in an eclectic variety of recreational and community service projects, including volunteering as a bedside companion with two local hospice programs.