The Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory is a research facility dedicated to the scholarly pursuit of knowledge about past cultures within Georgia and nearby areas. The laboratory supports the archaeological research and instructional activities of the faculty in the Department of Anthropology and is a resource for visiting scholars from across the United States. The Waring Laboratory serves as a repository for the university’s research collections, for those from state and federal agencies with responsibilities for archaeological resources management, and for collections resulting from the compliance research projects undertaken by private archaeological firms. The laboratory provides unique learning and directed-research opportunities for students at the University of West Georgia, as well as educational outreach programs within the local community.
The Waring Laboratory is one of the few facilities of its type in Georgia specifically designed to meet both academic needs and federal standards (36 CFR 79) for the curation of archaeological collections. The two-level (~10,000 square feet) structure is climate controlled, and both temperature and humidity are maintained at appropriate levels within its curation range. Access to the laboratory is monitored by a zoned security system with integrated intruder, motion, smoke, and water sensors that are directly connected to the University’s Public Safety Office. The largest part of the Waring Laboratory is dedicated to the curation of archaeological collections. This 50′ by 75′ area contains two levels of curation shelving, providing space for 7,244 cubic feet of archaeological materials. Existing collections, representing artifacts and their associated records from hundreds of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, occupy 5,802 cubic feet of this shelf space. A 1,250 square-foot research area in the laboratory is maintained for the short-term and longer research projects of faculty, students, and visiting scholars. This dedicated space contains a specialized library and maps, computer stations, photography and microscope stations, drafting and digitizing tables, along with other resources that support research use of the collections.
The interwoven research, teaching, and service activities of the
Waring Archaeological Laboratory reflect the university’s commitment to academic excellence and cooperation with other interest groups. Its embedded commitment to faculty-directed undergraduate research makes the University of West Georgia the ideal academic environment for the Waring Laboratory. While serving the important research and instructional agenda of the university’s faculty and students, it also serves the needs of others with interests in and a critical responsibility for protecting Georgia’s archaeological past. Long-term agreements with state and federal agencies as well as with private sector companies, allows Georgia archaeological materials to be curated in state at minimal costs and without duplication of effort. Collections research carried out by students and professional archaeologists, from within and beyond the walls of the university, serves not only their specialized interests but also contributes to the advancement of general knowledge about Georgia’s rich cultural heritage.
The Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory and its related activities have had the pleasure of serving multiple constituents since the early 1970s. Today the Waring Laboratory strives to enhance its contributions to Georgia’s academic, governmental, private sector, and public archaeological community.