Spring 2013 – Historic Artifact Analysis Course

Welcome to the spring 2013 semester of the Kooskia Internment Camp Archaeological Project! I am very excited to be teaching my ANTH 432/532: Historic Artifact Analysis course this semester. It is one of my favorite classes to teach because it gives me a chance to teach students hands-on skills that they can use in the profession of archaeology. It also gives me a chance to learn more about the Kooskia Internment Camp, as we get so much cataloging and work done when I teach this class. It helps to have 20 students working on the project at the same time!

I think I mentioned this last semester, but we are very grateful for another grant from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Program fund. I spent some time in the lab this past week working on organizing the collection, taking stock of what needs to be accomplished before the field season this summer, and cataloging the assemblage.

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Here is our “dirty lab” space where artifact cleaning, processing, and some cataloging takes place. The artifacts will be moved to a “clean” lab upstairs when we are ready to conduct what is called a “minimum number of individual vessels” analysis. The grey boxes are curation-grade boxes where the cataloged artifacts will be stored for years to come, and they are courtesy of NPS.
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More artifact storage boxes and boxes of artifact storage bags waiting to be unpacked, all courtesy of NPS.
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Some of the many new books we were able to purchase for our lab, which will allow our students to conduct detailed analyses of the artifacts from Kooskia. These are courtesy of NPS, too!

So far, we have cataloged a total of 18 boxes of materials comprising of 1,968 artifacts. We still have 33 boxes that need to be cataloged, though the majority of those boxes contain metal and non-diagnostic artifacts. We are hoping to sail through the rest of the material culture this semester because we have a lot of people working on the collection (over 22 people!).

I am hoping to have a report out sometime this year that I will share on this website for other researchers to access and utilize.

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