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:
We require a certain amount of material to perform analyses. Find out if you have enough material by checking our table of recommend minimum amounts for artifacts and source materials.
In order to facilitate proper packaging and submission, we have prepared a form that can be downloaded and included with all samples.
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.
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.
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).
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:
Prepare a cover letter that includes:
Package your sample, information packet, cover letter, sample inventory, and the sample submission form into a single box. Email or include a digital copy of your information packet, cover letter, 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.
Your parcel should be sent to the following address:
Attn: April Oga, Laboratory Manager
Archaeometry Laboratory, University of Missouri Research Reactor
1513 Research Park Drive, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Telephone: (573) 884-5540
Shipments may be made through USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Once you have sent your package, please email the lab immediately.
We do not accept unexpected shipments of any kind. We must have the following information to receive your package:
If this information is not provided to us by the time the parcel arrives, the parcel will be rejected and returned to you.