Castle Valley Archaeological Society press release

This is our last meeting for the 2023-2024 season. Our speaker this month is Chris Merritt of the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, and the lecture will take place on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00 PM. in the Don Burge classroom at the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum, 155 East Main Street, Price, Utah. This lecture is free and everyone is welcome.

The conversation will take place on:

Archeology of Chinese Railroad Workers in Utah – What Have We Learned?

For two years, archaeologists and the Chinese descendant community have worked to learn more about the lives of Chinese railroad workers in Utah. Come see real artifacts from excavations in Terrace, Utah. During the excavation, archaeologists came across hundreds of artifacts, from traditional Chinese medicine jars to ancient coins. Many of these have never been seen before, and this may be your last chance before they find a home in the soon-to-be-built Museum of Utah. We will share our findings and shed light on the lives of people who played a crucial role in shaping Utah’s history. Learn about the challenges they faced, their contributions and the significance of their cultural heritage.


Chris Merritt received his Ph.D. from the University of Montana in Anthropology in 2010, with an emphasis on the archaeological and historical research of the Overseas Chinese. Previously, he earned a Master of Science in Industrial Archeology from Michigan Technological University, where he studied the trade and consumption of Mormon-produced pottery in Utah. Since 2004, Merritt has worked in a variety of professional archaeological settings, including the United States Forest Service in Utah and Nevada, private archaeological contracts in Salt Lake City, and finally as State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of Utah’s Department of Cultural and Community Engagement. . In addition to a full-time position at Utah State, he is adjunct faculty at Salt Lake Community College and Weber State University, where he teaches courses in historical archeology and cultural resource management.