The first step in submitting samples to the Archaeometry Laboratory for analysis is to contact us. Ideally, this should be done during the planning phase of your project. Inform us of your intent to submit soil or clay specimens. Movement of all foreign and some domestic samples of soil or clay is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). To determine if your domestic soil or clay samples are regulated by the USDA, refer to this map. Additional information regarding USDA regulations on the movement of soils can be found in this circular.
If possible, the samples must be fired or steam heated according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Compliance Agreement. To dry heat samples, soils or clays must be kept at a constant temperature for a specific period of time (table below). The exposure period begins only after the entire sample has reached the specified temperature. If you are unsure, increase the exposure time to ensure that the entire sample has been thoroughly heated.