The Archaeological Curation Facility (ACF) houses historic and prehistoric archaeological collections from Northern California and adjacent regions. We provide long-term care for a wide range of archaeological materials, including artifacts, ecofacts, maps, photographs, and site records. In addition, the ACF provides a setting for students interested in archaeology to gain hands-on experience working with archaeological collections.
The ACF collections fall under the following themes:
Prehistory of the southern Sacramento, northern San Joaquin Valley, and Delta regions
Prehistory of the northern Sacramento Valley and southern Cascades region of California
Prehistory/ethnohistory of the central Sierra Nevada foothills and uplands
Prehistory/ethnohistory of the southwestern Great Basin and northern Mojave Desert
Selected mining and pioneer history of the Central Valley and adjacent regions of the Sierra foothills
From the 1950s to the 1980s, Sacramento State Anthropology faculty, staff, and students conducted or participated in archaeological excavations on public and privately owned lands. This was a period of rapid urban development which threatened hundreds of archaeological sites, traditional cultural places, and historic locations. Most of the items recovered from these salvage excavations were brought to the Department of Anthropology for curation. Donations of private collections, some of immense size, were also accepted over the decades. When the Department instituted the Archaeological Research Center (ARC) as a contract arm, curation of the items and records associated with some of those investigations were included as part of contract actions. Today, the objects in Sacramento State University’s archaeological collections number in the millions. Just under 50% are owned by a state or Federal entity, with the remainder owned by the University.
Individuals interested in using our collections for research purposes or volunteering in the lab, please see our FAQ.