Many archaeological collections are housed in acidic containers and in paper bags with important information written on them describing where the artifacts were recovered. This information is in danger of being lost, and is recorded as the artifacts are being identified and placed in new, acid-free containers that will further assist with preserving both the items and any information associated with them.
Job skills related to artifact processing are assessing collection condition, preparation of artifact inventories, artifact analysis, database creation and management, identifying and correcting inconsistencies in the collection and database, digital photography, repackaging and labeling collections, and writing summary reports.
VCP laboratory technicians assess, sort, and clean (dry brush) archaeological objects. Objects are transferred to archival bags and boxes, and the containers are appropriately labeled. Information regarding the objects and their processing is entered into a spreadsheet or database for item tracking. Reports are written for each collection to detail what is known about the archaeological investigation and its associated artifacts, as well as to describe what steps were taken during the rehabilitation effort.