Cataloguing Services

Cataloguing services assist in the processing and identification of archaeological material removed from sites or from private collections. Atlatl will catalogue lithic, faunal, ceramic, and historic artifacts in compliance with the appropriate local regulations. Metrics and descriptions are compiled into a table or database; additional descriptive reports can also be generated dependent on the needs of the project.

For privately-held collections, there is no cost associated with the service. Recording these collections is a way for the data to become available to researchers without needing the artifacts themselves and conveys to the collector the value and significance of their finds. 


Lithics constitute stone tools, projectile points, and debitage. Metric information recorded for stone tools includes length, width, thickness, weight, raw material identification, tool identification, debitage identification, and projectile point identification and morphology. Usewear and retouch are also noted. For projectile points, Atlatl uses regionally specific resources as necessary.


Faunal remains are identified to species, element, side, and age, with bones’ and length, width, thickness, and weight are measured. Weathering, evidence of burning or calcining, butchering marks, and post-depositional marks such as rodent gnawing are noted. Ungulate remains are also classified by bone unit using Bone Unit Analysis of Ungulate Faunal Remains by Brumley (1986), with additions by Bubel (2011). This standardized cataloguing reference guide is meant to reduce inconsistencies between researchers. For clients with partially catalogued fauna, we can aid in species and element identification through the use of extensive reference collections.


Ceramic sherds are identified for paste, temper, construction techniques, and portion. Munsell colours will be used to identify the inside, outside, and core colours. Notes will be taken on the surface treatment, decoration, and profile. Additional metrics include length, width, thickness, and weight.

Historic Material

Historic material is identified with a description of the material, the function of the item (if discernible), material type, manufacturer, and date of manufacture if possible, and any additional notes of interest. Metrics will include length, width, thickness, and weight.


A basic report includes metrics and information compiled into either an Excel table or an Access database. An advanced report can include written artifact descriptions, accompanying artifact photographs and/or scaled artifact drawings. Statistical analysis can also be incorporated; in general, the report contents can be configured to meet project needs. For projects that require photography, illustrative drawings, and/or statistical analysis please contact us to discuss your needs.


AnalysisCost Per Sample (CAD)
Cataloguing (Basic cleaning, metrics, data entry)$35/hr
ReportingCosts Per Project (CAD)
Artifact Photography, Artifact Illustration$35/hr
Report Writing (Summary tables, artifact descriptions, statistics, etc.)$400 (10 hours) – $1600 (40 hours)[1]
Lab Supplies (Plastic bags, rings, disposables, etc.)$50 (1-1000 artifacts) $100 (1000-3000 artifacts) $200 (3000-5000 artifacts[2])
Return ShippingTBD

We estimate approximately 5 minutes per artifact or approximately 12 artifacts per hour. This may vary dependent on the cleanliness, preservation and/or fragmentation, and complexity of the assemblage.

We offer a 10% discount to currently enrolled students. We also offer bulk discounts for large-scale projects, please contact us to discuss a bulk rate.

[1] Dependent on the size of the assemblage to be analyzed and reported on.

[2] Custom pricing may be necessary for projects with over 5000 artifacts.