The New York Times Review of Books honored Utah State anthropology professor Steven Simms’s book “Traces of Fremont” in its Nov. 11 edition. “It’s awesome! It’s an honor for all of us involved,” said Francois Gohier, the book’s photographer. “Traces of Fremont” focuses on the society and rock art of Native Americans, now known as the Fremont, who lived in ancient Utah. Simms said he wanted to steer people away from interpreting the rock art. He said it is difficult to know exactly what the artist meant when we are so removed from the time period. “Common sense interpretations tell us more about ourselves than about the people. It’s hard not to impose our modern ideas on (the rock art),” Simms said. Simms said his fascination with the Fremont stems from their complex hierarchical society. He said he wanted his audience to imagine the Fremont as real people and to think about rock art through a “long-term lens.” Simms agreed to write the book in fall 2008, but Gohier has been photographing the area since 1992 and decided to create the book approximately 10 years ago, Gohier said. “This kind of project requires lots of time and, if I may say, persistence. One has to have an intellectual and emotional interest in the subject to keep going through the years,” Gohier said.
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