Laboratory & Conservation

We process artifacts to the highest professional standards. Artifacts and ecofacts (natural materials such as bone, charcoal, and plant remains) are cleaned, catalogued and curated in our laboratory facilities. Objects of exceptional importance are conserved in our conservation laboratory. Botanical analysis is outsourced, but faunal analysis is conducted by AHS staff experts.

AHS maintains a wet laboratory, where archaeological artifacts are washed, dried, and packaged. It is equipped with sinks with specialized silt traps and custom-made drying and sorting racks. A customized concrete flotation area facilitates recovery of very small artifacts and ecofacts from soil samples.

Artifacts are catalogued and prepared for curation in our dry lab. Information is captured in our proprietary inventory database program. The program, developed specifically for New England artifacts, has a custom user interface to increase speed and reliability of inventory processes. Linked to GIS and other software, it facilitates accurate and efficient spatial analysis of archaeological data.

Our conservation lab is equipped with a stereoscopic microscope, digital scale, vacuum chamber, digital conductivity meter, wax-impregnation equipment, rotary and air abrasion tools, dual-channel pH/ion meter, and other specialized equipment to conserve many materials. It is the only CRM conservation laboratory in southern New England.