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Object Identifications

We Can Help You Identify Your Object

Museum curators and other staff members are happy to assist with helping you identify your object in their respective areas of expertise. Museum staff members primarily identify items in these specific areas:

  • Eastern US archaeology
  • Paleoethnobotany
  • Malacology
  • Decorative and fine arts

At their discretion, staff may agree to examine other types of objects such as fossils and ethnographic items from other cultures or may arrange for or recommend other university scholars to examine such objects.

Object identifications

By Email

Contact us at with information about your object. Please include as much information as possible, including dimensions and in-focus photographs of the object.


Museum staff cannot provide object authentication or appraisal. Information about such appraisals, as well as information about caring for many kinds of objects, can be found on the Smithsonian Artifact Appraisal site or the Getty Research Institute’s Appraisals Research Guide.

Individuals with archaeological artifacts or questions about archaeology may consult the Tennessee Archaeology Association Frequently Asked Questions about Archaeology in Tennessee.