After processing, the materials from each site are sorted into prehistoric or historic categories and then further rough sorted into various classes (e.g., glass, metal, historic ceramic, lithic, prehistoric ceramic, other, etc.) and distributed to the appropriate analysts. Artifacts are bagged separately by material type and class (i.e. diagnostic items bagged separately from nondiagnostic items) within each provenience. Nonorganic artifacts are bagged in two millimeters or thicker polyethylene (Ziploc TM) bags. Bag size will be suitable for the quantity and size of artifacts and labeled with the site number, catalog number, provenience, archaeologist’s name and organization, and collection date. Additionally, the same information will be printed on an acid-free card enclosed in a small, resealable polyethylene bag that is placed within the overall provenience bag.
Metal artifacts that are corroded will be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Some may be candidates for stabilization, which may include electrolysis, sealing with a tannic acid and microcrystalline wax coating, depending on the material and condition of the item. Any stabilization efforts will be detailed in a condition report that will be attached to the catalog.
All of these measures are conducted by experienced laboratory technicians to ensure proper handling and processing. PTA is dedicated to quality work that will last for generations to come.