Have an artifact you'd like identified? Not sure what you've just unearthed from your back yard? We've compiled a list of resources to to help you find the answers you're looking for.
Please note that the PSU Anthropology Department and most of the resources listed below do not provide appraisals. Even legal buying and selling of artifacts encourages looters and the illegal sale of antiquities. Instead, we encourage the donation of artifacts to museums and other repositories for proper preservation and to make them available for the public to enjoy.
The Burke Museum suggests some helpful information to have on hand when attempting to identify an artifact:
- Where was the artifact found?
Knowing where an artifact was found can greatly increase the chances of identifying your artifact. You should be as precise as possible; even knowing general information, such as whether it came from a beach or a field, can be helpful. If you are able to provide a map or an address where the artifact was found this is also helpful.
- When was the artifact found?
This will help determine whether or not there are any legal issues with which you should be concerned.
- Do you have a picture of the artifact?
This provides the opportunity to do some preliminary research on the object. Photos should always be taken with some sort of scale (a ruler is best, but even a common object such as a US coin can help).
The PSU Anthropology department does not specialize in dinosaur fossils. For resources to help you identify various types of artifacts, please see below: