False Kiva

Robert C Richmond

Salt Lake City, United States

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Artist's Description

Hidden under a vast alcove at the edge of Island in the Sky, “False Kiva” offers a unique experience. I can not imagine what clues might have led to discovery of this ancient site. Following decent directions to find the site, I was still guessing and missing the hidden access to the kiva after I could see the huge alcove. The kiva itself is unseen until the last step of the final ascent of boulder fall from the alcove cliff.

Once there, you are likely the only one there, and it is a moment of silence and reverence.

Archeologists have deemed this a genuine antiquity, but “false” as a “kiva” in the most accepted definition of purpose of a “kiva” in ancient culture.

From Wikipedia 10/16/10:
When designating an ancient room as a kiva, archaeologists make assumptions about the room’s original functions and how those functions may be similar to or differ from kivas used in modern practice.

Debate rages on whether to disclose the exact location of False Kiva as it enjoys a semi-protected status. While park rangers are required to disclose the location of the Class II site, it does not appear on official maps of the park. Because of the remoteness of the location, the site itself is not protected from vandalism of any kind.

The exact coordinates for False Kiva are occasionally divulged on forums, but GPS users should be aware that these exact directions can place hikers 500 feet directly above False Kiva. Moreover, the trail to False Kiva is unmarked and can take up to three hours of hiking to reach.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA

Artwork Comments

  • Lynn Bawden
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