Collection management and analysis of the Lake Theo Folsom bone assemblage
Baxevanis, Susan E.
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The Lake Theo Collection is an important representation of a Paleoindian multi-component site on the Southern Plains. Its current state of degradation is not reversible; however, future deterioration has been slowed by the implementation of standard preservation and collection management techniques. The Collection Management Plan involves the inventory, cleaning, and stabihzation of the Collection, followed by adequate packaging, and storage by today's standards. StabiUzing and cataloging the Lake Theo Collection allows a re-investigation into this site without the need of additional excavations. The re-investigation potential of the site is demonstrated through a prehminary analysis of the bone material for species identification, morphological element, and evidence of taphonomic processes. The re-investigation of the Collection and the now useable Collection itself also lay the foundation for future research questions and excavation approach if the site were to be reopened. In the past, post-excavation care generally was not included in the archaeologist's budget or plan, and was a museum's responsibility alone. Many archaeological collections received by museums as unprocessed collections remained in that condition because museums could not afford the burden of the care that these collections pose (Bleed and Nickel, 1989). Even fewer could afford post-excavation research on the collections. The responsibihty the generator of a collection has to its in-perpetuity care has increased greatly, and recently-generated collections tend to be in much better condition upon arrival at a museum. However, older, unprocessed collections should not be ignored and allowed to deteriorate further and must be addressed in a museum's long-term goals. These collections contain information vital to the interpretation of archaeological sites that must be utilized before further destruction of a site is undertaken. The information the unprocessed collections contain can be useful in the planning and implementation of further excavations at the site from which the collection came.