Archaeology Collections

David A. Phillips, Jr. Ph.D., RPA
Curator of Archaeology
(505) 277-9229

Research Divisions
Archeological Research


The Archaeology Department of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology cares for collections of artifacts from archaeological sites throughout New Mexico, the North American Southwest, from Alaska and the North American Arctic, and from selected archaeological sites around the world

The Maxwell Museum archaeological collections are a source of research for University of New Mexico faculty and students, as well as researchers from other institutions throughout the world. Permanent and changing Museum exhibits feature numerous objects from the collections, fostering interpretation and understanding of these material remains of past cultures. The collections are available for study by Native and non-Native artists and craftsmen, serving as an inspiration for cultural continuity and expression.

Chaco Canyon Collection

Archeology Collections Management Policy

Curation Fees

Preparing Archaeological Collections

For information on Maxwell Museum of Anthropology Archaeological Collections contact:

Maxwell Museum of Anthropology
MSC01 1050
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

The Archaeology Department curates prehistoric and historic collections acquired as a result of survey and excavation, research, donation and scholarly exchange. The Department curates all materials excavated by the University of New Mexico Field Schools and by the Office of Contract Archaeology. The collections are organized, cataloged, conserved and stored in the Maxwell Museum premises and are made available for research, teaching and exhibition.

The archaeological collections include:

  1. The full range of materials encountered in archaeological field research of prehistoric sites. These collections may include pottery, stone tools, faunal and plant remains, pollen and soil samples, samples of adobe and other construction materials, textiles, basketry, matting, and leather goods.
  2. Documentation describing the context in which the materials were found and their relationship in space and time to geological deposits and large architectural features. The documentation may consist of notes made in the field, photographs, slides and negatives, maps, drawings, computerized and digital records, field catalogs and other records of the work involved in acquiring the objects in the collections.
  3. Materials and documentation from major Southwest archaeological sites such as Chaco Canyon, Gallina, Sapawe, Pottery Mound, Tijeras Canyon, Mimbres sites, and Casas Grandes. Paleoindian, Archaic, Basketmaker and Pueblo sites are well represented among the collections from the middle Rio Grande valley and other areas of New Mexico and the Southwest.

Collections from sites outside the Southwest include Walakpa and Anaktuvik Pass in Alaska and comparative collections from throughout the world, used extensively in UNM Anthropology Department classes.