Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory University of West Georgia

Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory

Collection Processing Standards and Information

Notice About Updated Revisions to Standards

In an attempt to keep up with changing standards and technologies, the Waring Laboratory has recently updated the Curation Standards and associated documents.  Updated standards include required microenvironment for diagnostic metal, properly labeled photos, and electronic submission with specifications of the artifact, document, and photo catalog. These updates also include clarifications from the previous version.  You can find a copy of the recently updated standards below.  These standards will go into effect for any collection that begins after August 19, 2010.  Any collections that began before this time must still adhere to the old standards.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Waring Laboratory if you have any questions or concerns.

Standards for Archaeological Collections
(August 2010 Revision)

The standards apply to archaeological collections curated at the Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory (Waring Laboratory).  Because the research value of a group of artifacts stems directly from the information contained in their associated records, artifacts and their associated records are jointly referred to as a "collection" in this document. These standards define the minimum level of documentation, cataloging, and processing required for curatorial purposes.  Each collection is evaluated for curation on an individual basis.  Special arrangements may be made for a collection comprised of multiple small projects. Archaeologists are encouraged to consult with the Curator of Collections or Laboratory Director early in the planning stages of particular projects regarding processing issues and to resolve any questions regarding our curation of the collection.  Archaeologists also should consult Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Archeological Collections (36 CFR 79) as well as the National Park Service's Museum Handbook (Part I, Museum Collections) and Managing Archeological Collections: Technical Assistance.

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Curation Labeling and Packaging Guide
(August 2010 Revision)

Archival labeling and packaging of objects, or groups of objects, are essential for the preservation and use of materials within an archaeological collection.  Proper packaging and labeling ensures that collection information, most importantly that associated with the object's provenience, is maintained and accessible.  A curated archaeological collection and its component parts are not simply warehoused.  The information contained within each collection has continuing value and is used for a wide variety of purposes, including scholarly research, specialized analysis, heritage education, and public exhibition.  On many occasions, an individual object or small group of objects needs to be removed temporarily from the collection. A well-organized collection, properly labeled and packaged, effectively limits the possibility of information loss that can occur when an object has to be separated from its associated collection.

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Example Statement of Significance and
Continuing Research Value

Bilbo Site - 2001
Ray Crook, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Waring Laboratory UWG-0059

The Bilbo Site - 2001 collection is significant and has continuing research value because of the information it contains about Late Archaic Period cultural forms and their adaptive system along the Georgia coast.  This well-preserved collection has potential for contributing specific information concerning the development of ceramic technology (fiber-tempered wares), settlement and subsistence patterns, and environmental/climatic reconstruction.

The collection is the result of investigations at the Bilbo Site (9CH4) during the summer of 2001 conducted as part of an archaeological field methods class through the University of West Georgia.  This site was originally investigated in 1939 by Antonio Waring, and subsequently tested by William Haag in 1957.  The 2001 investigations focused on topographic mapping to record the site and the extent of vandal disturbance, along with stratigraphic test excavation to determine the content and integrity of subsurface midden deposits.  Although vandal disturbance was severe, substantial intact midden deposits survive. These extend as much as 2 meters beneath the current ground surface and mark a long sequence of occupation, including evidence for the initial production of plain fiber-tempered pottery and the later addition of decorated wares.  The midden also contains, in stratigraphic order, well-preserved floral and faunal remains.

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