This level is primarily for establishing counts, identifying significant artifacts and
obtaining dates of manufacture/use. Would be best used on a small number of recovered
historic artifacts from a primarily prehistoric site. For example, items found in a shovel
test or as surface scatter that are not associated with a large intact historic feature.
Categories for level 1 analysis
A. Type: Items will be identified to the greatest level of detail available from the
a. Vessel form/contents, i.e. Orange Crush bottle, teacup, catsup bottle
b. Type of artifact, i.e. soda bottle, hollowware, food bottle
c. Basic description, i.e. bottle, ceramic vessel, glass container
d. All unidentifiable items will be misc. glass, misc. ceramic, etc.
B. Material type
D. Date of use (if applicable) and reference
E. Count and MNI
*Items at this level will be analyzed together even if they are not exactly equal if they are
a) the same material type and color/pattern, i.e. two colorless glass catsup bottles, and b)
have the same datable information, i.e. two Heinz catsup bottles with identical TM
This level places artifacts into manageable categories and tracks differences
between similar artifacts. Would be used for slightly larger collections (20-50 items) in
which most items are complete enough to identify to the vessel form/contents level
mentioned above. Typical sites would include prehistoric sites with a fairly large historic
component, small historic sites/features, or a larger historic site still in an early discovery
phase from which a sample of artifacts have been recovered for identification.
Categories for level 2 analysis
A. Provenience/Feature/Level: To determine what level of field information
should be kept associated with the artifacts during the analysis and at what
level the artifacts should be combined/cross-mended.
B. Group or Category: See below for explanation. This will allow additional
sorting and comparing of artifacts that level 1 did not have.
C. Type/Subclass: Artifacts will be recorded at the greatest level of detail that is
available between these two categories. One or both of these categories may
be used. See below for explanation of what they entail.
D. Material type
F. Date of use (if applicable) and reference
G. Count and MNI
Any additional categories can be selected from the level 3 analysis section below as they
pertain to the individual needs of the project.
This level would be used for projects entailing large historical collections, i.e.
Vancouver Convention Center or Columbian Campus. Because each project will have
specific research questions, the analysis sheets will have to be created from a
collaboration between the project manager, the analysts and the lab director. The
following is a list of the categories that have been used regularly in the past including an
explanation of the type of information each will provide. This will help to make sure that
all parties are getting the information that they require for their end product, minimizing
the amount of revisiting the artifacts.
For all artifacts: these are all things that could/should go on all analysis sheets.
Provenience/Feature/Level: To determine what level of field information should be kept
associated with the artifacts during the analysis and at what level the artifacts
should be combined/cross-mended.
Analytical Unit (AU): If the artifacts from one feature appear to have been deposited in
more than one distinct dumping event then they should be kept as separate AU’s
until further analysis can either prove or disprove the theory.
Group: The broadest sorting category, which includes: Activities, Domestic, Indefinite,
Industrial, Personal, Structural and Undefined
Category: This category sorts items into more specific groups. For example, writing,
food, food prep/consumption, lighting, clothing, health, social drugs-alcohol, etc.
Type: Some categories can be further sorted into types that help to break down some of
the larger categories. For example, Food prep/consumption is sorted into six
“types” which include drinking vessels, tea set, kitchen, serving, tableware and
Subclass: This is the most specific artifact category. This is where the actual artifact is
recorded. This will be as specific as possible, for example, teacup, whiskey
bottle, earrings, shoe, etc.
Material Type: Glass, porcelain, WIE, metal, etc.
Trademark/embossed label: This is a yes/no column to indicate presence of a trademark
that has been added to the supplemental trademark sheet or later on the analysis
sheet. See below for variation on bottle analysis sheet.
N/MNI: Keeps track of both the total number of individual pieces and the minimum
number of individual vessels/items that are represented.
Notes: A section to add any addition significant information about individual artifacts.
Ceramics: Both food related items (plates, cups, serving dishes) and toiletry items
(chamber pots, washbasins).
Set Type: This helps to sort the kind of sets present, tableware, serving, and tea service.
Parlor Item: This is a yes/no column that indicates whether an item is of a higher quality
and would be suitable to be displayed in a formal parlor.
Level of Decoration: Ceramics are rated on a 1-5 scale, which can be found in the
ceramic analysis binder, using varying aspects of decoration as criteria for where
an individual item falls on the scale. This rating can then be associated with the
value of the vessel, a higher rating would represent a more expensive or more
highly decorated piece.
Country of Origin: A quick reference way to keep track of where ceramics were being
manufactured. This can make a difference in the value of the pieces and show the
presence of more exotic pieces, such as Asian or French items.
Completeness: Items are rated on a 1-5 scale, which can be found in the ceramic analysis
binder, based on what percentage of the whole vessel is present. This helps to
compare vessels without having to use a subjective percentage only method that is
hard to use when comparing a large number of artifacts.
Rim Diameter: To track the size of items to be able to compare differences of like items.
For example, to distinguish between 10” and 12” plates.
Vessel Color: What color of glass the bottle is made out of.
Contents: Used for bottles with a label it will track what the actual product name is. For
example, Heinz, Lea & Perrins, J.H. Cutter Whiskey, Bromo-Seltzer, Coca-cola,
Trademark/Embossed Label: For bottles these should be kept as two separate yes/no
columns to indicate which kind of datable information is available and to track
how many bottles have both an embossed label and a trademark.
Man, Woman, Child: To determine if a bottle’s contents are exclusively used by or
marketed to a specific gender or age group. For example, perfume bottles for
women or nursing bottles for children.
Volume: To track the size of alcohol bottles. Can also be used for medicine bottles.
Flask Type: To distinguish what kinds of flasks are present. Examples of the different
types of flasks can be found in the bottle analysis binder.
Height: Used for whole bottles.
Neck/Finish Type: A description of what style of neck was used on the bottle. A page of
finish types and their names is located in the bottle analysis binder.
Base Type: A description of what shape of base was used on the bottle. A page of base
types and their names is located in the bottle analysis binder.
Base Diameter: A measurement of the widest part of the base.
Glassware: Glass items used for eating or drinking.
Vessel Color: See bottle section above.
Set Type: See ceramic section above.
Decoration: To track what method of decoration was used, i.e. pressed, etched, etc.
Parlor Item: See ceramic section above.
Stemware: To track the following attributes of pieces of stemware; bowl type, stem type,
foot type. A list of type names and characteristics can be found in the others
Tumbler Description: To track specific attributes such as presence/absence of panels and
base type, a list of types can be found in the others analysis binder.
Height: When available.
Rim Diameter: When available.
Base Diameter: When available.
Generic Artifacts: Anything that does not fit into one of the previous categories.
Color: When applicable.
Quantitative data: Choose from any of the following; height, diameter, length, width,
thickness. This information could be included in the notes section or an
abbreviation system could be put into place to be able to adapt to the variety of
artifacts that will appear on the sheet. For example, when needing to record
height the entry could appear as [H-2.5”] for length [L-5”].
Preservation: A scale that would assess the amount of deterioration of an artifact in order
to relate how much information was lost about the artifact due to deterioration.
This scale has not yet been created.
Value: This is to determine the historic value of an item based on the level of decoration
as well as the material type. A scale for this would have to be created based on
the artifacts present and would mostly be used on items that are accoutrements.
Parlor Item: See ceramic section above.
Trademark Analysis: If there is a need for a separate analysis sheet just for
trademarks the following information should be recorded.
Method: What method of dating is being used for the date that is provided, i.e. trademark,
embossed label, technology, dated item.
Manufacturer: Then name of the company that produced the product.
Origin: Where the company is based or where the product was manufactured. This can
be as detailed as the city or as broad as the country.
Dates: The range of manufacturing dates for a specific product based on mark, style,
Mark: An exact copy of any mark that is present written in standard format using
Reference: The citation for where the information was found.
N/MNI: To make sure that all pieces are represented when figuring out the mean dates
and to be used to cross check with the artifact analysis sheets.