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.
This website contains an archive of data generated by the archaeometry program at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom between 1970 and 2000. Much of the data was concerns pottery from the Mediterranean, Middle-East, Western Europe, and Northern Africa. The data was provided to the Archaeometry Laboratory at MURR in 2005 by the late Dr. G.W.A. Newton, former director of the archaeometry program at Manchester. It was Dr. Newton's hope that this data would be made freely available to archaeologists and archaeometrists worldwide.
Upon his retirement in 2005, Dr. F. Asaro of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Nuclear Archaeology (Archaeometry) program transfered all records of the LBNL archaeometry program to the Archaeometry Laboratory at MURR. These records include all paperwork, compositional data, photographs, professional correspondence, and microfiche generated by the LBNL archaeometry program from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.
The archaeometry program at LBNL included analyses of archaeological material from across the world with a particular focus on the Mediterannean and the Near East. The group also analyzed archaeological a limited number of samples from Africa, North America, and South America. The entire database is estimated to contain approximately 12,000 samples of pottery, obsidian, and beads as well as some geological samples analyzed at the lab.
The Hyksos project was a multi-year NAA study by Dr. Patrick McGovern (University of Pennsylvania) of pottery from the site of Tell el-Dab'a. The site is located in the Nile delta region of Egypt were Avaris, the capital city of the Hyksos, was located. There is some controversy associated with the provenance determinations of the data.
For those interested in learning more about this debate, please find the references here along with links to the NAA datasets.
The Postclassic Ceramic Database, hosted by Dr. Leslie G. Cecil at Stephen F. Austin State University
Visit the Limestone Sculpture Provenance Project