Starting in early 2018, the team first focused on whole ceramics from numerous Mesoamerican cultures. These objects are stabilized by building an archival storage mount, which requires custom boxes and inserts, measured and created for each individual object. It is a time-intensive process, and in the first year of the project, over 3,600 objects were rehoused through this method. The rehousing process is important as it creates support and protection for the object in storage and during handling.
The team is now in the second phase of the project, which involves bagging smaller pieces of lithics, bone, and ceramics. These pieces, previously jumbled together loosely in drawers, are better protected from damage, with the individual bags placed in trays like a filing system. In the first three months of this phase, the team has already rehoused 8,500 artifacts from important sites in Colorado such as the Lindenmeier and Frazier sites. The next major Colorado collection the team will be tackling is from the Magic Mountain site near Golden.
This NEH-funded project allows the Museum archaeology collection to be better preserved for future generations and to be more accessible for scholars, students, source communities, and the general public.