Material Culture  

The material culture laboratories of the Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at UMass Boston provide space and resources for cleaning, identifying, and studying collections from current and past projects. The labs contain artifact washing facilities and supplies for mending and labeling glass and ceramics, allowing field collections to be cleaned and sorted. The labs also house a type collection of historic ceramics from the late 17th to late 19th centuries and a substantial library of books and reports to assist in artifact identification and analysis. Staff and students involved in Center projects, field schools, Anthropology Department classes, and MA thesis research use these resources to catalog and analyze newly recovered material and to complete specialist studies on various artifact classes and previously excavated collections. The labs provide some storage space for collections under study and are equipped with humidity controlled storage cabinets for holding conserved or delicate materials.

Library and Computers
The library contains many of the standard artifact reference books, Massachusetts soil surveys, guides from the National Parks service and the Massachusetts Historical commission, numerous reports on excavations in Massachusetts and elsewhere in North America, and copies of the Fiske Center’s reports. Laboratory computers are available for work on Center projects and are connected to the Center’s artifact catalog, FiskeCat, and file server.

Students engaged in active work on Center projects or outside researchers wishing to study material from the Fiske Center’s collections should contact Melody Henkel to arrange for space in the laboratory.

Artifact Processing Laboratory
Location: M-2-316
Director: Christa Beranek
Office: M-2-316A

Laboratory Manager: Melody Henkel
Phone: 617.287.6833
Office: M-2-331