NCPTT’s Archeology & Collections program seeks to enhance the preservation of archeological sites, landscapes, materials, and collections through research, grants, and partnerships.
The April 2007 to October 2007 interval was a productive one for the program. Among the highlights for this period were the completion of grant projects, the hosting of a major training event, and advancement of several research and training agendas.
Training and Outreach
The Archeology & Collections program hosted one event, is planning others, and engaged in a number of outreach efforts:
- Prospection in Depth—In this second year of remote sensing and GIS training NCPTT experimented with the format, shifting from a 3-week to a 2-week schedule. Four instructors trained 10 participants representing state and federal governments, the private sector, and academia. Like last year, an online training component is in development. The course remains innovative in that it partners with a robust academic research project to produce a constructivist pedagogy. Planning for the 2008 course is ongoing, with the Presidio in California as a possible site.
- Remote Site Surveillance—NCPTT also received ca. $40,000 in funds from the Louisiana Army National Guard to host this symposium. It is currently being planned for fiscal year 2008. Coordination continues with major federal land management agencies to bring together a working group of experts in cultural resources and law enforcement. This group will present overviews of each agency’s institutional approach to remote site surveillance, and the planned outcome will be more coordinated access to technical investigative equipment between agencies.
- Technology for Archaeological Interpretation—This is a 1-week workshop focused on exploring current and emergent technologies for use in the interpretation of archaeology. Planned for fiscal year 2008, one instructor has been contracted and are negotiations are underway for a second, with New York and San Francisco as possible host sites.
- Heritage Values—NCPTT furthered its training mission by providing critical funding for Hamline University and NPS’ Southeast Archaeological Center to develop an international preservation policy workshop. The workshop is scheduled for next month at Cumberland Island National Seashore. Expected outcomes include sessions at the World Archaeological Congress and the Society for American Archaeology meetings, as well as the publication of an edited volume.
- Advancing Remote Sensing Technology—The program co-hosted with the Archaeological Preservation Technology Research Consortium a session at the Society for American Archaeology meetings in Austin, Texas. Seven speakers and two discussants presented thoughts and examples of ways in which geophysical prospection is shaping future directions in archaeology. University Press Florida has invited the hosts to co-edit a volume for publication, which is currently underway.
- ICAHM Membership—One of NCPTT’s long range goals is to increase participation in international preservation organizations, and Morgan has joined the ICOMOS International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management as an Expert Member.
- Visibility—NCPTT’s visibility is on the rise. Between April and October Morgan delivered 4 professional papers (two in the United Kingdom), 5 public presentations, co-hosted a conference symposium, and helped devise a new marketing strategy to reach the private sector.
In-house research is integral to NCPTT’s mission. Major ongoing endeavors include:
- Bone Consolidation Techniques—Laura Lilley, NCPTT’s 2007 summer intern, continued the literature review of research on bone consolidation techniques. She has tentatively identified three research topics where NCPTT could make a positive impact:
1) the efficacy of inorganic consolidants;
2) a systematic comparison of organic consolidants; and 3) a quantification of the reversibility properties of common consolidants. The literature review will continue with the next student intern. This is a joint venture with the Materials Research program.
- XRF of Colonoware—The Archeology & Collections program and the Materials Research program are exploring a partnership with the St. Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research (Dutch Antilles) to investigate the utility of portable XRF for ceramic sourcing. A scope of research is currently being detailed that will provide for the shipment from St. Eustatius of ca. 300 colonoware sherds from an 18th century in situ kiln. NCPTT intends to examine intra- and inter-site chemical variability to ascertain whether the presence/absence of elemental data provided by portable XRF is sufficient to distinguish ceramic sources in the absence of comparative standards.
Two PTT Grant projects under Archeology & Collections administration reached fruition, five other grant projects are underway, and one new 2007 PTT Grant began. An additional PTT Grant project (Mississippi State University) was added to the 2007-year grants when funds became available late in the fiscal year.