December 16, 2010
NEH awards ULM professor grant funding for Poverty Point artifact preservation
Greenlee, Poverty Point station archaeologist and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science, Earth Sciences and Physics at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, requested the Preservation Assistance Grant through the NEH's Division of Preservation and Access.
Greenlee said the funding will be used to evaluate the condition of 178 copper objects in the artifact collection at Poverty Point and devise an appropriate plan to clean and stabilize any objects in need of treatment.
"In addition, the funding will help us establish an appropriate long-term storage microenvironment for the copper," Greenlee said. "This includes obtaining X-ray images of the objects to assess their structural integrity and purchasing long-term curation materials as necessary."
The Poverty Point archaeological site in northeast Louisiana was established roughly 1700-1100 BCE and represents the largest and most elaborate settlement of its time in North America, according to Greenlee.
The Poverty Point Station Archaeology Program, which curates an artifact collection that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, is an integral part of the public education mission of the Poverty Point State Historic Site, she said.
"While the collection is remarkable in the frequencies with which exotic raw materials and ornamental objects appear, it also provides a detailed picture of the mundane day-to-day activities of the people who lived there roughly 3500 years ago," said Greenlee. "We are concerned with the current condition and long-term preservation of the relatively rare exotic copper objects and will be able to use the funding to assess the condition of nearly 200 items."
ULM will receive official notice of the funding in the coming weeks from the NEH Office of Grant Management, which will detail the award amount and reporting requirements.