Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday, Sept 11

It was a rainy day in Annapolis. Peter and I spent the day cataloging artifacts from Port Tobacco. The first few days of cataloging a new project are always slow going.

An artifact catalog can consist of a variety of information about each object. Therefore it is important to think about what we want to record and how we want to record it. For now, we are using a simple Microsoft Excel workbook system for our catalog. This will likely be replaced with an Access database as the project grows. (We can easily import data into Access from Excel.)

In our catalog we describe each artifact begining with the material it is made of, such as ceramic, bone, or metal. We then describe the form and style for ceramic, the species and element for bone, and the form and function for metal. Most entries have a lot of additional information too.

Every artifact in the catalog is tied to the place where it was recovered at the site through a shovel test pit number or excavation unit number. Each place we dig at is carefully mapped in with the total station and assigned a unique number.

One shovel test pit in particular contained several bags worth of artifatcs. We are anxious to get that bag washed up and catalog its contents. Maybe we'll get to it tomorrow.


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