An ancient Indian settlement has been discovered in a remote area of Utah called Range Creek Canyon (search), and archeologists are calling it one of the most spectacular finds in the West.

For 50 years, Waldo Wilcox (search) lived and raised cattle in the Utah canyon, where the Fremont Indians had farmed more than 1,000 years ago — before drought forced them to abandon the region because they weren’t able to grow their corn there anymore.

Wilcox left the ruins alone and kept people out until old age forced him to retire and sell the land to the government.

Though not as breathtaking as the well-known cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park (search) in southwest Colorado, the pristine, well-preserved Fremont Indian village ruins will yield much more knowledge about the ancient civilization, according to archeologists.

Now, as archeologists and students collect and identify artifacts that are literally scattered on the ground’s surface, Utah officials are trying to figure out how to protect the treasures from looters who are already showing up to exploit the site.

Click on the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Carol McKinley.