The Desert Archaic Culture – Creator of Mysterious Canyon Inscriptions 1600 BC – 500 BC

The Desert Archaic Culture developed around 1600 BC and remained till 500BC. It primarily developed in the western arid regions of US and some of its surrounding areas which include portions of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and South-Western Colorado. The major archeological evidence regarding this culture was found through various artifacts which were discovered in this region especially triangular Projectile point and Ceramics jar.

The Desert Archaic Culture Map


These people inhibited Rocky Mountains to Mojave Desert, therefore, climatic variations were observed throughout their culture. This not only impacted the flora and fauna, but also dietary habits and lifestyle of these people. The people living in arid and semi arid regions were mostly dependent on rabbit and deer. The people who were living in forest and mountainous region were mostly dependent on nuts various kinds of seeds and edible roots.


The tools used by Desert Archaic People were highly sophisticated these people were extraordinary in stone based tool making. They used to make triangular projectile points which they used to attach with an arrow. Bow and arrow was most important tool for hunting large animals. Apart from this, these people also build sharp knife, scrapers etc. They used to make woven baskets to store seeds. They also made ceramic jar to store various other tools.


These people used to live in families. There is no evidence of any king or leader of the tribe. There were only head of family. Apart from this these families were only united during the hunting season when they used to hunt in group animals like elk, beer, antelope, deer etc.  They also did group fishing. Shellfish were found in abundance in various streams in this region.

Archaeological sites

Mysterious Inscription in the Canyon - Desert Archaic Culture

The settlement sites that are found in Utah are circular in shape and are made of brush. It is estimated that these sites were used for storing food by the desert archaic people.

Certain climatic factors and decreasing population of animals forced these people to shift to another region.

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