Smithsonian-NIST Datasets

During a more than 40-year partnership, scientists from the Smithsonian Institution conducted chemical analysis of archaeological materials at the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) using neutron activation analysis. Two of the original scientists (Dr. Jacqueline Olin and Dr. M. James Blackman) have retired, but the program continues to operate under the direction of Dr. Ronald L. Bishop.

The archaeometry program has produced data on nearly 40,000 archaeological samples (esp. ceramics and obsidian) for research projects involving collaborators and resulting more than 150 publications. Many of the projects involved multi-year/multi-national collaborations from around the world. Regions with special focus include Mesoamerica, Near East, mid-Asia, northern Mexico and southwestern USA. Datasets from published projects are hosted here.

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Datasets Available for Download

1486 Samples of Glazed Ceramics from Alta California

Ceramic Production in Early Hispanic California: Craft, Economy, and Trade on the Frontier of New Spain, edited by Skowronek, Blackman and Bishop. Chapter 13. 2014

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718 Samples of Fine Orange Pottery from the Chiapas Depression and the Maya area

Paris, E.H., R.L. Bishop, R. Lopez-Bravo and T.D. Sullivan (2021). Imitation games: The exchange and emulation of Fine Orange pottery in central Chiapas, Mexico. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 64: 101306.

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