National Register of Historic Places

Natural Corrals Archaeological Site

Sweetwater County

Date Added to Register

Monday, August 17, 1987

Smithsonian Number


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The Natural Corrals Site (48SW336) is a multicomponent prehistoric campsite located in the Leucite Hills in Sweetwater County. The site was initially recorded in 1974 and test excavations were conducted in 1977. Among the items found in excavation were lithic tools and debris, including Late Prehistoric projectile points, groundstone, steatite fragments, Shoshone-style pottery sherds, glass trade beads, percussion caps, and bison bones. Additional archaeological testing in the early 1980s defined two distinct cultural components. The upper component dates from A.D. 1790-1850 and the lower component dates to the Late Archaic period, 500 B.C. to A.D. 500. On the surface, projectile points and artifacts dating to the Early Archaic and Paleoindian periods have been collected. The site serves as an excellent example of the interface between material cultures from indigenous groups and those derived from a foreign technology. Because of this, it can provide data about cultural changes that Native Americans experienced once they came into contact with Euro-American trade goods and later the people themselves. The site also provides the unique opportunity to determine the amount of culture change that occurred between the Archaic and Protohistoric periods, and to show what role Native Americans played in the Fur Trade period of American history.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources