Pottery from the Norton Allen Collection

Pottery from the Norton Allen Collection

As ASM is the largest and busiest state-run archaeological repository in the nation, the vast majority (about seven eighths) of ASM's collections are of an archaeological nature.

ASM's archaeological collections consist of approximately 300,000 cataloged items, 38,000+ cubic feet of bulk research material, 15,000 site survey collections, and several thousand type sherds.

Access may be granted for study at the museum or, in some instances, by loan to a scholar's home institution. 

The archaeological collections are organized into the following sub-collections:

  • The Individually Cataloged Objects Collection contains the primary reference materials for archaeological projects. These items are frequently used for exhibition, illustration in special publications and catalogs, teaching, and general comparative studies.
  • The Bulk Material Research Collection contains the primary documentation of the published and unpublished analyses of archaeological projects. These collections are used in a variety of ways, including preparation for further field work in the same area or adjacent areas and for restudies or more intensive studies of major artifact classes and other problem-oriented research.
  • The Site Survey Collection consists of small diagnostic samples of sherds and lithics from thousands of sites across Arizona. These collections can be used to determine spatial and temporal outlines of prehistoric cultures in the region.
  • The Southwestern Sherd Library consists of samples of southwestern pottery types from sites throughout the range of occurrence of the type. The library is used for comparative research and for identification and teaching purposes by ASM staff, scholars, and students.


Requests for access to archaeological collections should be addressed to:

Suzanne L. Eckert, Ph.D.
Head of Collections
Arizona State Museum / University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210026 
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026
See Dr. Eckert's Profile


Spring 2023

A Year in the Repository, by Jorge Barceló, Archaeological Repository and School of Anthropology BARA Intern
Retrospective on the Repository, by Stella Douglass, Archaeological Repository and School of Anthropology BARA Intern
Lightbulbs from Block 83, by Sandra Guerrero Beltran, Collections Management Intern 
Lessons from Block 83: Research Scope and New Strategies, by Antonio Moreno, Collections Management Intern 
GIS Map Making for the SfAA Conference with the Silver Creek Archaeological Research Project, by Olivia Yaffee, Archaeological Repository and School of Anthropology BARA Intern

Spring 2022

UIR Collection, by Stella Douglass, Archaeological Repository and School of Anthropology BARA Intern 
Vessel 1 From the Bison Room, by Emily Hale, Archaeological Repository and School of Anthropology BARA Intern
Fascinating Objects Found by a Repository Intern, by Tony Moreno, Collections Management Intern 

Spring 2021

Bottle Embossments and Makers' Marks from the Tucson Historic Warehouse District, by Emily Adduci, Collections Management Intern
Curiosities of the Shellman Site, by Adri Boudrieau, Collections Management Intern

Winter 2021

Congratulations to Arthur Vokes on his retirement, by Katie MacFarland, Archaeological Repository Manager