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Condition report of Site 48WA322: the Colby Mammoth Collection and the Curation Crisis

Nelson, Fox Glenn
In the world of museums and curation, there is a term called the curation crisis. Due to poor preservation and curatorial techniques used in the past, a lot of items in curation have been destroyed, physically lost, or lost their provenience and thus meaning. As standards get better and preservation techniques improve, a lot of the artifacts located in collections are being rediscovered or looked into more as new curators look through their collections. It is vital that curators do this with their collections, and the bones of the Colby Mammoth site are no different. Originally excavated by George Frison in the latter half of the 20th century, the techniques of curation have surpassed those of the 1970’s and 80’s. By looking at the Colby Mammoth bones, researchers can begin to answer questions dealing with how curatorial practices have affected artifacts in their collections, especially organic remains like bone. In order to answer these questions, I will look at the impact the curatorial practices have had on the bones, and how practices have changed since the bones were put into the UW archeological repository. Overall, I hope to learn how curatorial practices have developed over time, how these practices have physically influenced the artifacts in their collections, and how the Indigenous peoples of Wyoming hunted large game. All of these goals I hope to accomplish by studying and working with the Colby Mammoth Collection.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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Curation,Archaeology,Anthropology,Mammoth,Mammoth Bones,Curation Crisis,Colby Mammoth,Colby
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