Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jeffrey Glover

Second Advisor

Nicola Sharratt

Third Advisor

Joshua Kwoka


This thesis discusses current and past issues surrounding archaeological curation, often referred to in relevant literature as the “curation crisis”. Curation facilities lack the space and time to properly curate legacy collections, which in turn increases the cost necessary to curate modern collections. Some archaeologists propose discarding materials rather than curating them; however, by discarding materials from a collection the future research potential of the collection is negatively affected. In an attempt to alleviate this curation crisis while minimizing damage to future research opportunities, this thesis proposes a model for the systematic discard of certain machine-made, non-diagnostic, historical artifacts both in current and legacy archaeological collections. This model will be referred to as the Artifact Discard Eligibility Model (ADEM). This thesis defines the ADEM and tests its efficacy on both a modern collection created from a Cultural Resource Management (CRM) survey and a legacy collection.

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