Sample Submission & Rates

piece of obsidian
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Two Tracks of Sample Submission

Standard Analyses of Archaeological and Geological Specimens

The MURR Archaeometry Laboratory routinely conducts analyses in support of compliance and regulatory projects conducted under Federal and State historic preservation laws. Compositional analyses of chert, obsidian, pottery, and other materials can significantly enhance the depth, quality and value of compliance and regulatory archaeological projects. Cultural resource management firms and government agencies have long recognized that the archaeometric studies can be an integral part of evaluating the potential significance of archaeological and historic resources. For example, in southeast Missouri, where the National Park Service has funded hundreds of analyses to create a ceramics compositional database, NAA has been used to successfully identify sources of individual pottery sherds.

Projects submitted under our standard analytical rates are given the highest priority for preparation, analysis, and interpretation. Results are reported in detailed technical reports describing our procedures, analyses, and interpretations of the data. Reports include identification of geochemical groups, comparisons with other relevant data in the MURR database, and address any specific research questions provided by the customer. In the case of obsidian, source-attributions are made (if possible) for individual artifacts.

Our standard analytical rates are ideal for customers seeking a rapid turn-around time. This is ideal for compliance/regulatory projects involving cultural resource management actions, for small projects involving a handful of specimens, for researchers not carrying an academic affiliation, or for researchers who do not have time to wait until the biannual proposal-review process. Although we strongly encourage all of our customers to publish their results, there is no direct obligation to publish data generated under our standard analytical program.

NSF-Subsidy Program for Geoarchaeological Analysis

The Archaeometry Laboratory's NSF-subsidy program increases availability of analytical methods to archaeologists and encourages increased collaboration between archaeologists and analytical chemists. To achieve these objectives, we use a portion of our National Science Foundation grant to subsidize select research projects, thus deferring operating costs inherent in our standard analytical rates.

Applicants should be graduate students or faculty members from US-based academic institutions. Projects conducted under this program are considered collaborative and acceptance to this program carries with it an obligation to make public the results of our work. Projects conducted under the NSF-subsidy program carry an obligation to promptly publish results with laboratory staff. Investigators participating in our NSF-subsidy program are required to particpate in our data management and sharing plan.

Investigators from foreign countries and from non-academic institutions are not eligible for this program, but other cost-reduction strategies may be possible. We encourage such researchers to contact us and provide a research proposal.

Additional information and instructions concerning the NSF-subsidy program can be found hereā€¦

Elemental Analysis of Non–Archaeological Materials

Clients interested in the elemental analysis of other kinds of materials should contact the MURR Analytical Chemistry Group.