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Grant number like: PG-51300-11

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University of Louisiana, Monroe (Monroe, LA 71209-9000)
Diana Mae Greenlee (Project Director: May 2010 to October 2012)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

$5,997 (approved)
$5,997 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2011 – 6/30/2012

Assessment and Long-Term Preservation of Copper Artifacts at Poverty Point

Hiring a conservator to assess the condition of 200 fragile copper tools and weapons from Poverty Point, an archaeological site in the lower Mississippi River valley occupied from 1700 to 1100 BCE. The consultant would evaluate the current condition of these objects, devise a plan to clean and stabilize any in need of treatment, and establish an appropriate rehousing environment for these artifacts, using preservation supplies requested by the applicant.

The Poverty Point archaeological site in northeast Louisiana represents the largest and most elaborate settlement of its time (ca. 1700-1100 BCE) in North America. The artifact collection curated by the Poverty Point Station Archaeology Program, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of objects is an integral part of the public education mission of the Poverty Point State Historic Site. While the collection is remarkable in the frequencies with which exotic raw materials and ornamental objects appear, it also provides a detailed picture of the mundane day-to-day activities of the people who lived there roughly 3500 years ago. We are concerned with the current condition and long-term preservation of the relatively rare exotic copper objects in the collection. We seek funding to assess the condition of the nearly 200 items, to recommend necessary cleaning/stabilizing techniques, and to develop an appropriate microenvironment for their long-term storage.