Much of the material was still housed in the paper bags it was originally stored in.
Some items had already received housing updates due to specific curation needs or researchers working with these collections.
One evening in September, 2013, two amateur cavers, Steven Tucker and Rick Hunter, drove into a swath of semi-wilderness an hour northwest of Johannesburg and parked at the foot of a stony slope.
Wearing jumpsuits and helmets with headlamps, they ducked into the mouth of a cave, descending into a maze of jagged limestone.
Caving is a form of improvisation: you say yes to whatever door the earth opens. The cavers hadn’t been searching for fossils that day, but they knew someone who would be very eager to see them: a paleoanthropologist named Lee Berger.
The vertical crevice measured barely seven inches wide, but Tucker, a human reed, was able to squirm down it. Fossils of hominins—ancestral humans and their relatives—have been discovered in South Africa since the nineteenth century, when prospectors started blasting for lime, which is used in refining gold.
Forty feet below, he dropped into a chamber the size of a walk-in closet. The area surrounding this cave is known as the Cradle of Humankind, because skeletal remains of our early ancestors have been found there.
But Berger was the first paleoanthropologist to systematically search underground.
During cataloging, collections are also updated into housing that meets present-day curation standards.However, most of the material in these collections needed new housing.Figure 1: Some potsherds from 39WW2 were re-housed in 1988 because their original paper bags had torn. It is the principal city of the Great Falls, Montana Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Cascade County and has a population of 82,278.Great Falls takes its name from the series of five waterfalls in close proximity along the upper Missouri River basin that the Lewis and Clark Expedition had to portage around over a ten-mile stretch; the effort required 31 days of arduous labor during the westward leg of their 1805-06 exploration of the Louisiana Purchase and to the Pacific Northwest Coast of the Oregon Country.