My archaeological quest began in an SUV near Blanding Elementary School, where screaming children played kickball with a potato-shaped P.E. teacher. Winsten Dan, my cattle dog, slept on the backseat as I thumbed my smartphone; I had downloaded an app that saves PDFs from Web pages so they're accessible outside cell reception. I used it to view a topographic map, complete with GPS coordinates. Then, like many other tech-savvy archaeology nuts, I punched those coordinates into my GPS unit. In seconds, I knew the route to a secret ruin I'd never have found on my own. Google "Cedar Mesa," and you'll retrieve at least 13 million hits. The southeast Utah area is home to the country's highest concentration of archaeological sites: Ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and pottery, along with baskets, weapons and pit houses from even older cultures. No interpretative signs or barricades dim the sense of discovery, as
Technology eases access to ancient ruins, for better or worse
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