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Abstract

The assignment of provenance to museum objects that are considered to be archaeological-even though they were not found in archaeological contexts-such as adzes, has long been left to archaeologists, or to museum curators or technicians who, because they have handled similar objects before, are expected to deduce by comparative analysis where an object came from. Visitors and scientists give solicited and unsolicited views about attributions, uses, and meanings to objects that they have never seen before, while curators evaluate this information depending on the known background, status, and trust of the person giving the information. Most museum curators and technicians record these opinions into what I have termed "museum guessalogs" which masquerade as catalogues.

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