The Arizona State Museum (ASM), founded in 1893, was originally a repository for the collection and protection of archaeological resources. Today, however, ASM stores artifacts, exhibits them and provides education and research opportunities. It was formed by the authority of the Arizona Territorial Legislature. The museum is operated by the University of Arizona, and is located on the university campus in Tucson.
Students of archaeology, anthropology, art, design and other areas of investigation work with ASM personnel to become better acquainted with materials, techniques, and objects from ASM’s collections. Some students participate in archaeological excavations conducted by the museum.
Each type of artifact held by ASM must be contained in an area that is protected from the damaging effects of humidity, heat and insects. ASM is home to the world’s largest collection of Southwest Indian pottery housed in a state-of-the-art vault so as to protect its 20,000 vessels from the damage suffered in the past.
This collection represents nearly 2,000 years of pottery- making technologies and traditions in the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico and is recognized as the world’s largest, most comprehensive, and best-documented assemblage from the region.
While this collection grows almost daily, there are currently 24,000 whole vessels in here, all kept stable in a controlled environment of 72 degrees F. and 32% relative humidity. It is a resource consulted on a regular basis by archaeologists, anthropologists and other researchers, educators, students, Native artists and their family members, and by you, members of the interested public.
The vault is arranged primarily by culture, starting with archaeological cultures on the northern aisles, coming up inrough time and regions, ending on the south end with historic and contemporary Puebloan pottery.
According to en.wikipedia.org; statemuseum.arizona.edu. Source of photos: internet