Archaeological Building Blocks

By
Alex Sivitskis
Alex Sivitskis is a senior Earth and Planetary Science and Classics double major graduating in 2015. His interests include geology, geospatial technologies, and the application of natural sciences to archaeological contexts.

rocksArchaeological Building Blocks: An Overview of the Stone Samples Collection

For the past year, documentation efforts have been made to catalog the Archaeological Museum’s collection of over 300 stone samples. A main objective of cataloging is to identify both who collected the samples and why they were collected. Despite limited information on provenance, trends in stone dimensions and lithology have been observed for collectors such as Harry Langford Wilson and HelenTanzer. A secondary objective is to provide basic geologic identification for each sample. The museum’s digital catalog has served as a perfect platform to organize the inconsistencies between traditional archaeological and geological classification schemes. Cataloging efforts have thus far revealed a rich collection of colored marbles, decorative stones, and a few unique objects of natural interest. Ultimately, through cataloging of these much neglected samples, we look to understand not only how the collection was formed, but also what potential it holds for research and public engagement in the future.

The presentation can be viewed here: