Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

Archaeological Metals Assessment - State Archaeological Collections and Research Facility

Site
State Archaeological Collections and Research Facility, Sacramento, California

The archaeological collections at the State Archaeological Collection Research Facility in Sacramento, derives from a series of excavations undertaken by CA State Parks archaeologists. Though most of the artifacts come from California State Parks, a significant number come from other agency projects such as Caltrans, the Department of Water Resources, and the Army Corp of Engineers. The types of metal artifacts in the collection included: metal fragments, nails, spikes, building materials, hardware, hand tools, farm equipment, knives, firearms, dishware, utensils, cooking pots, children’s toys, buttons, jewelry, food and sundry containers, amongst others.

In 2004, Conservation Solutions, Inc. (CSI) performed a hands-on survey of a variety of these objects. As the time allotted for the survey and budget were limited, only a sampling of the artifacts in the collection were surveyed. The types of metals present were noted, as well as the condition of some individual objects, the nature and possible causes of deterioration, and storage conditions.

The report consisted of a written portion describing the artifacts, an overview of conditions, an analysis of the current state of storage, general recommendations for conservation/preservation methods and materials, and a budgetary time/cost estimate for the conservation of a select number of artifacts. Of particular interest to supervising archaeologist Glenn Farris was a two-tray collection of artifacts from the Fort Ross Cemetery site. The majority of objects in this collection were assessed individually to determine a separate cost analysis for their treatment.