ST GEORGE – Last week city officials were given a tour of an archaeological site south of the Dixie Center that archaeologists propose be turned into a historical park.
Members of the Dixie Archaeological Society took the St. George City Council on a tour of an archaeological site on a hilltop overlooking the confluence of the Virgin and Santa Clara rivers Thursday. The site currently resides on private property.
The site is one of the many others found near the Virgin and Santa Clara rivers, said Greg Woodall, an archaeological consultant and member of the archaeological society. The group has been surveying and cataloging the area for the last two years and has found evidence of 10 houses, 20 store houses and many artifacts dating back to between 500-1200 A.D.
“They didn’t just live here, they thrived,” Goodall said.
The Native Americans who inhabited the area grew corn and other crops, Goodall said. Paiutes and other tribes claim the corn-growers as a part of their ancestry.
The Dixie Archaeological Society proposed the city buy the land the site is on and turn it into an interpretive park that could tie into the city’s existing trail system. The park could include signs detailing the history of the area, as well as replicas of the Native American dwellings found on the site, Goodall said.
“We’re trying to document what is here and share it with everybody,” Goodall said. “So much more of the story can be told.”
Members of the City Council appeared interested in the idea, though didn’t make any commitments Thursday.
“The biggest obstacle for the city is going to be the price,” Mayor Jon Pike said.
Still, the mayor was impressed with the site. “There’s nothing like seeing it,” he said.
The property owner has expressed an interest in wanting to preserve the site, Goodall said, and selling it to the city.
“What an opportunity for the city,” he said.
For the time being, the site remains closed to the general public.
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