Lichliter - IIC

Section II C: Artifact Cataloging and Processing

Artifact Processing

1. Started with the largest artifact type (which was thought to be ceramics and turned out to be carbon). This strategy did not work because it was unorganized and ArcheoLINK software issues made it impossible to continue.

2. Separated all artifacts by provenience. This was accomplished by making a Microsoft Word document with all information found on bags or associated archival resources. Over the course of doing this, the entire site’s layout became clear. A separate section of the document contained information about artifacts with little to no provenience. In order to do this, artifacts were placed on paper plates with each provenience written on the edge of the plate. Then, the plates were physically arranged from largest provenience to smallest. This took up a large amount of space, but it made entering artifacts into ArcheoLINK much more organized and efficient; it allowed for entering all artifacts from one provenience together, which cut down on the potential redundancy of looking up artifacts more than once.

3. Using DSNH’s unit and feature records, artifact proveniences were identified. These included feature/unit number, feature type, depth of feature with level information, information on matrix and fill, who recorded or excavated the feature/unit, a plan and profile drawing of the feature/unit, and other extraneous information.

4. Rules were established for entering artifacts within ArcheoLINK.

  • Keep original feature/unit numbers for consistency
  • Make arbitrary find number. Associated data (such as provenience) can change, but the number cannot. 33MY23 (Lichliter trinomial) is followed by a five digit sequential code. Each find number represents one feature’s artifacts or one diagnostic artifact
  • Barcodes consist of find number, artifact type, and subcategory number
  • Diagnostic artifacts include: rimsherds, decorated potsherds, projectile points, scrapers, drills, bladelets, worked bone, nutshells, corn kernels, seeds, celts, adzes, gorgets, hammerstones, and Lichliter discs.

5. Subcategory numbers were used for a number of reasons.

  • To keep the amount of find numbers down so as not to overload the database; e.g. two bags did not need their own find number if the artifacts were from the same feature
  • To separate artifacts if there were too many for one bag or jar
  • Many subcategories can exist in features, but only one can exist under a special find

Artifact Storage

Lichliter artifacts were stored utilizing the storage function within ArcheoLINK. This involves utilizing the barcodes on the tags printed by the thermal printer for artifacts. Archival boxes were fitted with adhesive plastic tag holders to hold their own tags; therefore, each box has a tag and each artifact bag has a tag.

Each box’s tag includes the box’s number (for purposes of location within the anthropology vault), the weight of the contents in the box, as well as the range of artifact numbers in the box. Excel spreadsheets were made of the contents of each box in addition to the lists within ArcheoLINK – these lists were printed and are physically with the artifacts in the drawer.

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