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Historic Artifacts

Fort Larned has an extensive collection of artifacts. The majority have been recovered by contract through field excavations performed by the University of Colorado. In 1972 the excavations yielded approximately 16,000 artifacts; in 1973 well over 47,000 artifacts were recovered; and in 1974 the excavations yielded approximately 17,500. Other small scale archeological excavations in the late 1960's, and in 1975 yielded a few thousand more. The total historic and non-historic artifacts now number well over 80,000.

Many of these artifacts, especially those relating to the military period, 1859-1884, should be cleaned, preserved, cataloged, and added to the Park's study collection. A larger percentage relate to the 1900-1966 farming era, and do not pertain to the Fort's military story.

It will not be necessary to clean, preserve, and catalog the 80,000 plus artifacts. This would be much too costly in terms of dollars and man-hours. Instead, a representative sample (one excellent and 2-4 duplicate specimens) of each type of artifact dating from the 1859-1884 period should be properly cleaned, treated, cataloged, and added to the Park's collection for use in the study collection, in museum exhibits, or in the furnished buildings.

The remainder of the thousands of artifacts should be disposed of in one of two ways:

A) If sufficient storage is available at the Park, then these untreated artifacts can be bagged and boxed and placed on storage shelves in a temperature/humidity controlled room or building, but away from those treated artifacts in the study collection.

B) The artifacts can be stored in sealed barrels or other containers, and buried on the Park grounds with proper locations marked on the Fort's base maps.

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Last Updated: 14-Aug-2009