Museum of Anthropology

Using Archaeological Collections

 

Who Can Access the Collections?

 

Collections are available to qualified individuals for study. Qualified individuals are:

  • individuals with specific written objectives that are appropriate to the character of the collections.
  • members of any tribes of American Indian communities from whose traditional territory the collections were removed.
  • professional archaeologists affiliated with a university, federal, state, or local agency, or a private CRM firm.
  • graduate students under the supervision of a professional archaeologist

 

Which Collections are Accessible?

 

Only collections that have been curated are available for study. These collections have relational databases. If the database is on line, the site name or Smithsonian number will be active links on one or more of the search pages. If the database is not yet available on this site, contact us. Currently, only the data for Marmes Rockshelter (45FR50) and Lind Coulee (45GR97) are accessible. Databases can be sent to you in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Access format. Use the coding information on the following pages or download the codes in Word format to search the database and prepare a list of the items you want to examine.

Museum staff will then retrieve the items you have selected.

The time we can spend on each research request without charge is limited. We encourage you to contact us with questions on how to search the databases before you compile your list, so that the list accurately reflects the criteria that best identify the materials you need for your research. Repeated requests that result from incomplete or erroneous database searches may require us to charge for staff time.

Collections can only be studied on the WSU campus unless permission has been obtained from the Museum. This means that you should make arrangements with the Museum in advance to study materials here at Washington State University. The Museum can make space available to you. Bring your own calipers, laptop computer, magnifying lens, etc. Many artifacts in curated collections have been photographed in digital format. Photographs and slides have been digitized and can be made available to you at no charge.

Permission for destructive scientific analysis must be obtained from the responsible agency. Museum staff will ship samples to scientific laboratories upon receipt of that permission.

 

What Information is Included in Site Databases?

 

In general, each database will contain the following fields, reading from left to right.

 

Field Contains

Smithsonian site number

inventory/catalog number

former catalog number

unit N or S

N/S unit bearings

unit E or W

E/W unit bearings

beginning level/strata

ending level/strata

object group (OG)

object type (OT)

raw material (RM)

count

weight

condition

box number

comments

 

Coding lists for object group (OG), object type (OT), and raw materials (RM) are on the pages that follow. You can also download a Word document containing these codes.

 

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Museum of Anthropology, PO Box 644910, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4910, 509-335-3441, Contact Us