Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHe)

Opened January 2019,the new Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage occupies 17,000ft of the 1606 Rowan St. warehouse in Portland. The new center serves as a hub of transdisciplinary research, community engagement,and develop future archaeologists through a broad range of experiential training in laboratory and field methods


Integrated into the Portland facility is an exhibition/gallery/presentation space, designed to foster interaction between the public and the archaeology staff, faculty, and students. This gathering area has been designed with a direct view into the Archaeology Wet and Dry Labs. The central processing areas for incoming artifact collections and samples that will be analyzed and/or curated. This crucial moment, when fieldwork meets lab work, provides an excellent opportunity to share with members of the public and school groups the value of archaeological contexts, good record-keeping, and appropriate curatorial steps. This insight into the archaeological process often results in greater engagement with local heritage, visitors becoming stewards of that heritage, and awareness of a possible career choice. Four of the new labs will be dedicated teaching laboratories suited for human osteology and skeletal forensics, artifact analysis, zooarchaeology, and engaged ethnography.

Four new labs will be dedicated teaching laboratories suited for human osteology and skeletal forensics, lithic analysis, ceramic analysis, and zooarchaeology. Two additional ones will be used for preparing soil samples, artifact cleaning, processing, and accessioning artifact collections. Much of this work gets done by student volunteers, work study students, or students doing independent studies with faculty mentors. This program also plan developing a bioarchaeological agenda for the study of past populations in the Midwest region. Through the analysis of skeletal remains and current databases in different local institutions, students will learn how to analyze bone markers and lesions to reconstruct health and disease in past populations. The bioarchaeological agenda plans to have strong articulation and collaboration with wet laboratories in the School of Medicine.

“Placing the University of Louisville’s Archaeology Labs and Archaeology classrooms on the west side of Louisville will strengthen our community’s awareness of the archaeological treasures that are intertwined not only with our city’s heritage but with the history of the Ohio Valley. The buried 1800s town under Portland Wharf Park, the hints of ancient mounds, and Devonian fossil beds at the Falls of the Ohio are all reminders of the interconnection between past and present.” -Greg Fischer, Mayor, City of Louisville

Learn about the archaeology of Portland and West Louisville

Click to view more images from the CACHe Lab