Joel Janetski is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Brigham Young University where he has specialized in the archaeology of the arid west. His research emphasis during his 28 year tenure there has been on hunting and gathering societies as well as small scale farmers. His archaeological experience includes excavations of the large farming villages in Clear Creek Canyon of central Utah, a project that ultimately resulted in the construction of Fremont Indian State Park on I-70. The past several years have been spent in Escalante Valley of southern Utah excavating a deep rock shelter which contains evidence of human occupation dating to 10,000 years ago. Current research activities include a re-examination of findings from the Promontory caves on the north shore of the Great Salt Lake and an investigation of Basketmaker diets through the analysis of human remains. Janetski’s research is reported in numerous articles and books including Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology in Utah Valley (with Grant Smith), and Archaeology and Native American History of Fish Lake, Central Utah as well as several volumes reporting excavations of the large Fremont communities in Clear Creek Canyon and Life on the Edge: Archaeology in Capitol Reef National Park co-authored with colleagues at BYU. Experience outside the United States includes research in Western Samoa and the Petra Basin of southern Jordan.
Janetski has been very supportive of local, public involvement in archaeology during his career and has authored two books on archaeology for public consumption: Indians in Yellowstone National Park and Archaeology of Clear Creek Canyon. In 1986 he founded and continues to be the advisor of the Utah County Chapter of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society and is the founding editor of UTAH ARCHAEOLOGY, an annual journal supported by professional and avocational archaeologists in the state. He is a fellow of the Utah Historical Society and the Utah Professional Archaeological Council.