The Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory: A Model Facility

C.A.R.T. Archaeology

by Denice Dressel Lab Archaeologist & Preservation Specialist

Colchester Archaeological Research Team (CART) is part of the Cultural Resource Management and Protection Branch (CRMPB) of the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA). One of CRMPB’s responsibilities is to serve as the repository for archaeological collections excavated in Fairfax County, both on parkland and county wide. According to Fairfax County Park Authority’s Cultural Resource Management Plan, CRMPB’s Archaeological Collections now houses over three million artifacts, all from Fairfax County sites.

I recently had the pleasure of touring the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory (MAC Lab), part of the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, in Calvert County, Maryland. Similar to CRMPB’s role as the archaeological collections repository for Fairfax County, the MAC Lab is Maryland’s state archaeological collections facility, responsible for the permanent curation of Maryland’s archaeological collections. Dr. Patricia Samford, Director of the MAC Lab, estimates that the facility houses between seven…

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