Life of an Artifact: What happens when artifacts leave the field?

Once an artifact has been removed from the ground, it immediately begins to degrade and suffer damage. The curation aspect of archaeology encompasses many areas. Some focus on capturing data about the artifact and its context (cataloging), reducing damage to the artifact (conservation), and providing access to artifact information (research). In this series we are going to take you through the process of curating artifacts.

June 2
Left: SEAC’s RASP (Regionwide Archeological Survey Program) department excavating a shell midden at CALO (Cape Lookout National Seashore) in May 2015. Photo credit: Brian Worthington, NPS. Photo Right: SEAC Curation Lab. Photo credit: NPS.

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