The lecture today is based on one that I saw at NWAC. Which is based on a Masters project out of the University of Idaho. The project looked at dealing with an archaeological collection from the Fort grounds. The collection was forgotten in a Fort building. The project had a lot to consider. The collection was from several excavations and due to the state of their storage many of the artifacts were impacted by local fauna and molds. The project utilized veterans and on the job training which is always a good thing. I think that this project and presentation were successful and show a great baseline/workflow for other projects that have 'orphaned' collections
I think that it is interesting that, especially in CRM, there is a push to get into the next project. Wrapping up projects and curating/publishing properly seem to be push by the wayside. While I understand that the funding may not be there and that curation paperwork is not the most exciting, but these steps are as important if not the most important components. These steps are what allow future generations to revisit projects. It allows archaeologists to use new technology and techiques on collections and potentially discover something that would have never been known if it was sitting on a shelf in a back room that nobody remembers.
With budget cuts in national and state offices there is a growing curation concern. These 'orphaned' collections could go unnoticed. It becomes tragic as the focus of CRM/academic/government/whatever continues to value new excavations instead of allowing some time to take care of these collections. It is not science if you skip all the steps where other people can look at your work. It is looting if you dig it up, sit on the data, and then bark at anybody that even attempts to see it.