The research focus is on the study of bone microstructure and its chemical characteristics to reveal insights into the lifestyle and any pathological conditions of human populations in their environments. Sample preparation set up for a wide range of artifacts is also available. Current active projects involve the study of tetracycline in rat bones and another project involving malaria entitled Identifying Malaria Parasitic Infection in Archaeological Human Bones. Preliminary results for the latter project is planned to be presented at the International Symposium on Archaeometry May 2010 conference in Tampa, Florida.
Recently completed projects at the archaeometallurgy laboratory include analysis of bronze artifacts from Tell Leilan, Syria, a study of the sources of brasses used in early American scientific instruments, determination of the origin of iron thought to date to AD 600 found in an excavation in Ohio, and with Krysta Ryzewski of Brown University, a method of using microstructure to identify the method of manufacture of nails recovered from a seventeenth century site in Rhode Island.
Ongoing projects are preparation of a handbook for identifying historic nails in the laboratory, examination of metal artifacts in collaboration with Professor Vance Haynes of the University of Arizona, and a study of cast iron in Chinese statuary with Dr. Thomas Chase. The catalog and laboratory data for the over 600 reference specimen in the laboratory's reference collection is being converted to digital format.
Ceramic Petrography Lab
Field School Dirty/Clean Labs
From October to November 2009, the third season of Yale excavations will be taking place at the Dye Works site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Following the excavations, analyses will be carried out on the excavated artifacts.
Organization of documents and artifacts from the previous field school site, Henry Whitfield House in Guilford, Connecticut, is being carried out to prepare their return to the State of Connecticut.
An independent soil chemistry project is also being carried out on comparing the use of open space by ancient inhabitants of contemporaneously occupied paired sites east of Copán, Honduras. This study, “Let No Space Go to Waste: Comparing the Uses of Space between Two Late Classic Centers in the El Paraiso Valley, Copan, Honduras”, was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science. In addition, currently working on submitting NSF funding for investigating open area activities of La Carona (Site Q) in the Peten, Guatemala.
Fume Hood Lab
This is shared space with the Biological Anthropology section to carry out any work involving hazardous chemicals that require the use of a fume hood. Current activities involve archaeohistology and soil chemistry analysis.
Kiln and LSC Room
The kiln is being prepared for use in a ceramics analysis course scheduled for 2010.
Spatial and Visual Technologies Lab