From Storage Boxes to Research Options: Cataloging Collections at ASU's Research Lab in Teotihuacan, Mexico

Author(s): Kristine Clark; Tia Alquist

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

At Arizona State University’s (ASU) Research Lab in Teotihuacan, Mexico, countless boxes represent almost limitless opportunities for research. As the initial director, George Cowgill generously provided archaeologists with free storage space. However, decades have since passed without appropriate oversight, organization, and documentation. This means that before any assessments or analyses can take place, there needs to be a catalog of the collection. To this end, we (a pair of museum studies graduate students) spent a month during the summer of 2018 working at the lab. Specifically, we worked with a collection of mural fragments excavated in 1984 by René Millon and his team as part of an international collaboration to determine the provenience of the looted murals Harald Wagner bequeathed to the de Young Museum in San Francisco, CA. While Millon successfully determined the murals’ site of origin, the fragments remain unanalyzed in storage boxes. In an effort to make them accessible for future research, we lightly cleaned the fragments, established a procedure for describing their appearance and condition, photographed noteworthy pieces, and repackaged the fragments for more appropriate storage. Ultimately, the goal is to create a database that can be accessed online by potential researchers to inspire future studies.

Cite this Record

From Storage Boxes to Research Options: Cataloging Collections at ASU's Research Lab in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Kristine Clark, Tia Alquist. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450209)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 18.48 ; max long: -94.087; max lat: 23.161 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 26019