Topic ID #40453 - posted 11/29/2018 1:00 PM

Archaeological Lab Tech at Colonial Williamsburg


Archaeological Lab Technicians process artifacts received at the laboratory; ensure proper procedures are followed in treating, cataloging, maintaining records and entering data into the database system; and conduct research and analysis of artifact types as needed. This position has funding for a minimum of five years ans will work on a large-scale research project to understand one of Colonial Williamsburg's most important early 18th-century designed landscapes. Additionally, research will focus on the enslaved laborers who built, maintained, and lived on the property to be studied.

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  • Receives artifacts, completes Artifact Group Accession Form listing date, site and context numbers.
  • Sorts artifacts in preparation for washing; follows laboratory procedures in determining the methods used in washing, drying and re-bagging of artifacts.
  • Catalogs/accessions artifacts in database according to set laboratory procedures and standards.
  • Determines if there are any artifacts that require immediate treatment, i.e., fragile articles, iron or copper alloys, faunal material, worked bone or other organic material.  Refers items requiring immediate attention to the Associate Curator of Archaeological Collections.
  • Using laboratory procedures, assigns a Terminus Post Quem date to the artifacts, providing continuous feedback to the Associate Curator of Archaeological Collections and Senior Staff Archaeologist on the dating of the site being cataloged.
  • Numbers items at fragment level as well as when mended; enters object level information into database.  Mends items as assigned using appropriate procedures.
  • Performs basic analysis and assists the Associate Curator of Archaeological Collections and the Senior Staff Archaeologist in performing complex analysis of the artifacts.  Examples of analysis include cross mending fragments and determining minimum vessel counts.  Prepares general feedback reports on cataloged data.
  • Provides interpretation for visitors, professional and non-professional, in the laboratory.
  • Prepares artifacts for storage as requested by senior laboratory personnel.
  • Provides general assistance to students, field staff and volunteers.
  • Assists Associate Curator of Archaeological Collections on special assignments.
  • Performs maintenance activities keeping the laboratory and warehouse clean.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


Archaeological Lab Technicians receive direction from the Associate Curator of Archaeological Collections and/or Archaeological Lab Technician B


Job Requirements:


Minimum: BA in Anthropology, American Studies, History, or related field with one year’s experience working in an archaeological laboratory setting. Demonstrated knowledge of 17th- through 21st-century material culture. Must possess a detail-oriented and organized working style with excellent verbal and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to work independently or as part of a team. Must have a willingness to interact with the public. Additionally, must be able to transport 30lbs.

 Preferred Qualifications:

Previous work dealing with colonial and early republic artifacts; archaeological field school training; familiarity with the use of artifact databases such as TMS, Re:Discovery, DAACS, or other; and a working knowledge of Excel and Access databases.


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