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Hiker Discovers Prehistoric Artifact on Arizona Strip

Earlier this week I was contacted by a reporter from News4Utah in southern Utah about the ancient mug I found earlier this year on the Arizona Strip. I called in and did a short interview and the story aired on Monday and was put online yesterday. You can follow the link below to see the story and video on their website, but I have also copied it here just in case it ever disappears from their site.


By: Lauren Matthias

ST. GEORGE (News4Utah) – A man hiking near the Utah border on the Arizona strip discovered more than he anticipated when he found what he says looked like an old clay mug.

“I started to unbury it and realized it was not just a shard, it was the whole mug,” said Colorado resident Randy Langstraat.

Langstraat, a nature photographer was doing what he loved, admiring his surroundings and taking photographs when he noticed something just off the trail, under a boulder. He concealed the mug and contacted the BLM.

“I’m a big believer in leaving thing where I find them, however in this case it was pretty close to a popular trail head and it was small enough that someone could easily wander off with it.

The only decision I could live with would be reporting it so it could be recovered,” said Langstraat.

“We’re grateful for the hiker for reporting it,” said Rachel Carnahan with the BLM Arizona Strip District.

Archaeologists believe it dates to the late pueblo period.

“It has an effigy handle, and that means it looks like a deer or a bighorn, and its ears are a little scuffed up, but it’s in excellent shape.”

“It’s a pretty unique item from what I’ve read,” said Langstraat.

“To find an intact pot, from that era, 1050 to 1250 AD is significant because it’s prehistoric,” said Langstraat.

“We would hope that any member of the public would report an archaeological find so we can better preserve and protect it.

… The best thing you can do if you find an artifact is obviously to report it, if you can leave it where it is, and try not to touch it, they are very fragile and very valuable and sacred to area tribes,” said Carnahan.

In just a couple of weeks the artifact will be placed in the BLM Visitors Center in St. George for the public to be able to view.

The BLM has requested we not share where the pot was found to protect the area.

The Langstraat Mug