What are we doing in the lab?

Every week I run an open lab for anyone who wants to walk in and help wash, sort, bag and catalog the artifacts we have recovered.  This summer our lab day is weds.  Today the drying racks in the lab are full so it is time to sort the artifacts into categories– brick, historic period ceramic fragments (known to us as sherds) glass shards, stone tool making debris, stone tools, nails-wrought, cut and wire.

Each type above gets a separate ziplock bag and a catalog number– a unique number that signifies exactly where in the site this batch of artifacts was recovered.

This is a first step towards artifacts analysis.

Several blocks away from the lab is an old cotton warehouse turned into a storage facility.  There we have rented a space to store the massive collection we have amassed in 16 years of research. The Kolb artifact assemblage is stored in 600 plus cardboard bankers boxes.  Over time our lab staff and Carl have sorted these by types–stone tools, prehistoric ceramics, historic ceramics, animal bones, botanical specimens have all been culled from the collection and are stored together.