Instructions for Submitting Samples

The Archaeometry Laboratory analyzes, on average, over 5000 samples each year. Because we process such a high volume of samples, it is important that our collaborators provide specific information about their projects and their samples. Regardless of whether you are a first-time customer or a long-time colleague, the following instructions should be followed whenever you submit samples to our lab.

Additional instructions must be followed for the following types of samples:

In order to facilitate proper packaging and submission, we have prepared a form that can be downloaded and included with all samples.

Click through the following instructions to learn how to prepare a submission to the laboratory.

Step 1: Contact Us
The first step in submitting samples to the lab for analysis is to contact us. Ideally, this should be done during the planning phase of your project. We may be able to offer suggestions regarding analytical method, number of samples, and type of samples required that will save you both time and money. By explaining your project goals, you will help us to better understand your project and better serve your needs.
Step 2: Assign Unique IDs
A 6-digit identification system is used to uniquely identify every specimen that we analyze. This number typically consists of three letters followed by three numbers (e.g., ABC001, ABC002, etc.). Contact us to obtain a discrete range of ANIDs to use for your project. Assign ANIDs consecutively and do not skip numbers.

When packaging your sample, place each specimen in an individual bag and label this bag with the assigned ANID, your last name, the archaeological context, and any other information specific to that specimen. Alternatively, this information may be written on a clean piece of paper or cardstock and inserted into the bag along with your specimen. If your specimens are in powder form, submit them in screw- or snap-top vials. Please seal vial caps with tape and enclose the individual vials in small plastic bags. Doing so minimizes the potential for cross-sample contamination should a vial break during transit.

Step 3: Prepare an Inventory
All submissions should include an inventory of your specimens. Without an inventory, we have no way to know that we have received everything you intended to send. Use the following Excel spreadsheet (*.XLS) to create your inventory, and provide copies of this inventory on paper (with your submission) and digitally (as an email or enclosed in your submission).

Inventory worksheets:

Step 4: Information Packet
We need to know as much about your project as possible to best address your reesarch questions. Have other archaeologists analyzed similar materials in your region? If so, prepare a bibliography of these projects. Are you analyzing chert, obsidian, basalt, or another geological material? If so, provide us with photocopies of regional geological reports that discuss these materials.

The types of information we request with all projects are:

  • A map showing locations for each of the sites from which these samples were obtained. If you are working in the U.S., please use a 7.5-minute topographic map of your project area.
  • Geographic coordinates of the context of your specimens. Use Latitude/Longitude (WGS1984) and UTM Northing and Easting (NAD1983) if from the U.S.A. If your samples are not from the U.S., please use WGS1984 Latitude/Longitude.
  • Background literature applicable to your project. Full bibliographic references suffice for major journals, but consider including excerpts of CRM reports, local/regional journals, geological-service bulletins and maps, or unpublished material.
Step 5: Cover Letter
Prepare a cover letter that includes:
  • How many samples are being sent and their ANIDs.
  • The technique by which these samples are to be analyzed (INAA, XRF, ICP-MS).
  • Your email address, phone & fax numbers, and your mailing address.
  • Your research questions and your goals for this project.
  • The agreed-upon rate at which your samples will be processed and billed.
  • A completed sample submission form
Step 6: Prepare your Parcel
Package your sample, information packet, and cover letter into a single box. Include paper and digital copies of your sample inventory and the sample submission form. If your specimens are fragile, use packing material. If your samples have sharp edges, such as rocks, double bag them. Package your sample in a durable box, not an envelope.
Step 7: Send your Parcel / Notify us Immediately
Your parcel should be sent to the following address:

Attn: Dr. Michael D. Glascock
Archaeometry Laboratory, University of Missouri Research Reactor
1513 Research Park Drive, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Shipments may be made through USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Once you have sent your package, contact us immediately.

We do not accept unexpected shipments of any kind. We must have the following information to receive your package:

  • Sender of package (this is usually you)
  • Parcel-delivery service (e.g., UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.)
  • Tracking or Shipment Number
  • Date of Expected Delivery

If this information is not provided to us by the time the parcel arrives, the parcel will be rejected and returned to you.

 

Research performed by the Archaeometry Laboratory at MURR after August 2014 is supported by the National Science Foundation under our current grant number 1415403. Earlier research was supported by several NSF grants including the following: 1110793, 8801707, 9102016, 9503035, 9802366, 9977237, 0102325, 0405042, 0504015, 0802757, 0922374, and 0802757. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Last Updated on May 14, 2015
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