Links to some existing microwear and/or residue labs are included below. This list is work in progress and it is surely not exhaustive. Links to webpages of individual researchers can be found on the members page.
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Anthrotopography Laboratory | New York University | New York, New York, USA
Our laboratory works together with NYU Tandon School of Engineering to standardize and improve lithic use wear methodology through the use of tribology, robotics, 3D microtopography, and computer vision.
Lithic Microwear and Technology Laboratory | The University of Tulsa | Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
In addition to optical microscopy, the lab specializes in developing methods for microwear quantification using confocal microscopy. The lab also houses the George Odell Use-Wear Comparative Collection, including experiments conducted by George Odell and his students from the 1980’s through 2011.
Laboratory for Ground Stone Tools Research (LGSTR) | The Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa | Haifa, Israel
The Laboratory for Ground Stone Tools Research in the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa was established in 2011 and since then, it is directed by Prof. Danny Rosenberg and has many associated graduate and undergraduate students. The laboratory employs a multidisciplinary approach to the analysis of stone tools and other artifacts and integrates new documentation and analytical methodologies. Our lab is an international center of knowledge for ground stone tools research, and we are engaged in multiple collaborations with international scholars, working with us on a wide-range of ground stone tool-related studies, integrating the natural and social sciences.
Use-Wear Analysis Laboratory | The Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa | Haifa, Israel
The laboratory at The Zinman Institute of Archaeology is the first Use-Wear Analysis Laboratory in Israel. The lab’s activities focus on microscopic analyses and experimental archaeology and it is also designed to provide a research platform for students. One of the lab’s advantages is its integration at the Institute where the home researchers are working and the many of the running projects are conducted, including the Mount Carmel projects of el-Wad Terrace, Tabun Cave, Misliya Cave, Sefunim Cave, Raqefet Cave and Neve David. The lad specializes in the analysis of prehistoric flint artefacts, but also endeavors to develop protocols for the analysis of bony, marine, metals and various minerals and groundstone artifacts.
ASD Laboratories | ASD: Archaeology of Social Dynamics Research Group. Milà i Fontanals Institute (IMF-CSIC) | Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Archaeology of Social Dynamics is a research group of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), hosted in the Mila y Fontanals Institute on Humanities research (IMF), devoted to the study of the social relations of the past human communities from an archaeological perspective. These relationships affect both intra-community (relationships between individuals) and inter-community behaviour (relationships established between different communities). In particular, we investigate the human-environment interactions, mobility and land-use, dynamics of intensification of resource exploitation, technical innovations, the origins of agriculture, as well as changes in livestock practices and the integration of these processes in the set of socioeconomic dynamics. Microscopy at the ASD Laboratories covers a wide range of techniques from macro-imaging/photography through to microscopic observation by means of reflected and transmitted light. We focus also on texture analyses of artefacts surface by means of 3D approaches, based on stereoscopic and confocal microscopy. All these optical equipment have a CCD (charge-coupled device) camera to examine, processing and record the resulting image directly on a computer. This way we have a wide range of updated optical microscopy equipment and specifically adapted to the different scientific interests of the research team.
Bagolini Laboratory: Archaeology, Archaeometry, Photography (LaBAAF) | CeASUm: Centro di Alti Studi Umanistici, University of Trento | Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy
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The Bagolini Laboratoy of Archeology, Archaeometry, Photography (LaBAAF), belonging to the Center for Advanced Humanistic Studies (CeASUm) of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy of the University of Trento, carries out archaeological research activities covering the entire chronological period of prehistory , classical and Middle Ages human history, with particular attention to methodological aspects, the use of the territory and the genesis of archaeological stratifications. The main object of investigation is the nearby Po-Alpine area (Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto, Lombardy, Liguria), but also northern and central-southern Italian regions (Tuscany, Lazio, Sicily), Europe (Spain, Portugal) and outside Europe (China, Oman). The laboratory deals with the reconstruction of the economy of urban and rural settlements, especially on mountain landscapes, through a multidisciplinary approach that includes remote sensing, survey, stratigraphic excavation, bioarchaeology, GIS analysis, environment and advanced study of material culture,
CEPAM Research Laboratory | CEPAM: Cultures-Environnements. Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen-Âge. UMR7264, CNRS-University of Côte d’Azur | Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
CEPAM (Cultures – Environnements. Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge) is a joint CNRS – UNS research unit which develops research around the knowledge of societies of the past, their modes of operation, their evolution and their relationship to the environment. This common base is approached according to a wide range of themes, at various scales (from the site to the landscape and to the exploitation of the territories) and through an important diachrony (from Prehistory to the Middle Ages). The archives used are very diverse and range from molecular biomarkers to ancient texts, including biological, geological and cultural archives. CEPAM is positioned as an interdisciplinary structure with a broad interface between human, natural and physicochemical sciences, with rare specialties both nationally and internationally (study of avifauna, phytoliths and biomolecular archeology for example), and well-identified study sites in the Mediterranean area and in other geographical areas (Africa, Siberia, in particular for ethnoarchaeology).
IPHES Facilities | IPHES: Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution. Catalan Government-Rovira i Virgili University-City of Tarragona | Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
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The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES) is a transdisciplinary institution that promotes advanced research, education and knowledge transfer, and social engagement with science. Therefore, we cross and combine different fields of science (humanities and social sciences, but also geosciences and biosciences) to apply them to the study of human and social evolution. Our aim is to promote knowledge both about ancient human species and human beings today. Among the facilities of this research infrastructure, Lithic Technology facility is made up of two different spaces: an 88 m2 laboratory equipped with the necessary infrastructure and materials for processing and studying lithic materials, including stereoscopic and metalographic microscopes with digital cameras, and a 45 m2 room especially prepared for carrying out the tasks of refitting and analysing lithic materials.
Laboratory for Artefacts Studies | Leiden University | Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands
The primary research objective of the Laboratory is the study of object biographies. Facilities are thus aimed at studying the various stages of such biographies: from raw material selection, to object manufacture to object use and abandonment. For provenience studies the laboratory has an extensive geological reference collection of flint and other stone types and can make use of a portable XRF.
Prehistoric Technology and Archaeology Laboratory | CENIEH, Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana | Burgos, Castilla y León, Spain
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This laboratory is dedicated to the study of prehistoric stone tools (Raw Material, Techno-Typology, Function). It is full equipped with microscopes for use-wear analyses and has a reference collection (CET) with experimental tools made on flint, quartzite, rhyolite, trachyte and basalts and a great range of activities represented.
The Use-Wear Analysis Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Museology | Masaryk University in Brno | Brno, South Moravia, Czech Republic
Our laboratory is dedicated to reflected light microscopy in archeology, including use-wear analysis on stone, metal, bone, antler or ceramic artefacts. Our laboratory is open for visit, consulting, tutorials for self-made analyses. Identification of raw material in case of chipped stone artefact by water immersion method is possible.
TraceoLab / Prehistory | University of Liège | Liège, Wallonia, Belgium
TraceoLab is a research centre in prehistory with a strong focus on functional studies of wear traces and residues on stone tools combined with systematic experimentation. Research is mainly focused on the Palaeolithic period in the Old World. The study of hafting is one of the key research topics, next to methodological developments and projectile points. TraceoLab was created in 2012 by Veerle Rots, largely thanks to the attribution of an ERC starting grant in 2011. The ERC project focuses on the Evolution of Stone Tool Hafting in the Palaeolithic. Thanks to funding of the European Research Council, the University of Liège and the Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS), a fully equipped microscope lab could be developed in combination with a lab for residue extraction and processing and a lab for experimentation. TraceoLab also houses a large reference collection for wear traces related to production, use and hafting, as well as a reference collection for residues, including residues on stone tools. Projectiles form an important part of the reference collection. The reference collection mainly consists of flint tools, but also includes stone tools made out of other raw materials such as quartz, dolerite, hornfels and obsidian.
Traceological Laboratory | Institute of Archaeology, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń | Toruń, Kujawsko-Pomorski, Poland
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Laboratory provides technological and functional analyses of different types of prehistoric artefacts made of various raw materials. Rich experimental reference collection that includes tools made of flint, stone, obsidian, bone and antler combined with many years of experience enable education and training for all interested in traceology.
TraCEr. Laboratory for Traceology and Controlled Experiments | MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution | Neuwied, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
In MONREPOS, the research focus “Becoming Human” investigates the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic origins of our present-day behaviour. All essential human behavioural traits had already evolved during our earliest history; here lie the biological and social roots of our society. In prehistoric human populations, technologies played a fundamental role in the acquisition of food and are represented in the main daily living activities, with bone, wooden and stone-tipped spears for hunting, and chipped-stone tools for butchering. Therefore, Traceology is of major importance, being the only discipline that can determine and understand artefact use, and thus can address fundamental questions about the evolution of human behaviour. In this picture, TraCEr aims to study technological changes within human evolution using a behavioural approach, focussing on the technology of food production and tool-use in the past. In TraCEr, use-wear method and technique improvements will be addressed via three main research topics: 1) development of innovative and controlled experimental protocols, 2) development and application of high-resolution 3D quantification techniques and, 3) assessing material properties and their influence on the results. The laboratory facility includes three main rooms: 1) sample preparations and reference collection, 2) imaging room (including, 3D optical scanner Aicon SmartScan-HE R8, Stereomicroscope Zeiss SteREO Discovery.V8, 3D digital microscope Zeiss Smartzoom 5, Metallographic microscope Zeiss Axio Imager Vario, 3D confocal microscope Zeiss LSM 800 mounted on the Axio Imager Vario, Scanning Electron Microscope SEM Zeiss EVO 25), and 3) experimental workshop (including a Material tester INOTEC, and a Universal Robots robotic arm UR10).
Trajectoires Laboratory | Trajectoires: de la sédentarisation à l’État. UMR8215, CNRS-University of Paris 1-INRAP | Nanterre, Île-de-France, France
Its specialty is the long period stretching from the Neolithic to the end of the Iron Age in Europe. The historical trajectories of societies from the beginning of their sedentarization until the emergence of the first states (7th-1st millennia BC) constitute the laboratory’s privileged research theme. The multi-material traceology division of the Trajectoires laboratory brings together various specialists who combine technological skills specific to the type of furniture they are studying (lithic, macrolithic, hard animal materials, ceramics, etc.).
Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory | Newcastle University | Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
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The Wolfson Archaeology Lab specialises on the use-wear analysis of ancient copper-alloy artefacts (Metalwork Wear Analysis). Dr Andrea Dolfini teaches the method through an MA course (ARA8186, semester 2) as well as informal one-to-one sessions. Facilities include 6 Leica EZ4 W stereo-microscopes with integrated Wifi cameras for artefact analysis (plus several teaching stereo-microscopes) and a bespoke Leica DM2700 MH RL reflected-light microscope with MC170 HD Camera and SW Kit. Further equipment including an SEM can be accessed on request at other lab facilities at Newcastle University. The lab is developing capabilities to carry out functional and residue analysis on non-metallic artefacts. Reference collections include a wide range of copper-alloy Bronze Age objects (axes, swords and spearheads) and EBA stone tools (hammer-axes and daggers).
CAS: Centre for Archaeological Science | University of Wollongong | Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
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The Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS) is dedicated to the application of scientific methods to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of humans and human behaviour. Coupling techniques from the physical, chemical, biological and geological sciences with insights from experimental archaeology, CAS members engage in the analysis of material remains of human life from across the globe and throughout time in order to understand the origins and diversification of humanity.