Lab Activities

Southwestern Archaeology

Capabilities & Services



The Anthropology Laboratories are well provisioned with field and laboratory equipment and supplies. The Laboratories are equipped for a variety of field research activities and can provide state-of-the-art archaeological excavation and survey equipment for crews of up 25 workers. We specialize in archaeological survey and mapping and can provide a wide range of services including aerial photgraphy, photogrammetry, high precision GPS mapping and traditional plan and profile mapping of archaeological features. A 4-wheel-drive pickup truck is owned and used exclusively by the Laboratories, and additional vehicles are available from the Northern Arizona University motor pool. Equipment for analytical and report-production tasks include electronic balances and binocular microscopes, including two Wild M3Z microscopes with variable magnification and photomicrographic capabilities. comparative collections are available of southwestern pottery types, faunal species, and lithic raw materials from a wide area in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The Anthropology Laboratories also have extensive computer resources capable of operating a host of word-processing, GIS, database, graphics, cartographic, imaging, and analytical software packages.

Peripheral equipment include laserjet color printers, large format printers, flatbed scanners, digital cameras, and Ethernet access on the University’s mainframe computers provide additional analytical and editorial tools. A research library, focused on the archaeology of the northern Southwest, is housed within the Laboratories’ administrative office buildings. The university setting also provides access to facilities and personnel outside the Anthropology Laboratories.

The Anthropology Laboratories have access to a variety of the most recent field and analytical equipment, including 3-D laser mapping and imaging (lidar) and a scanning electron microscope. Through cooperation with other departments, various forms of compositional analysis can also be provided for lithic, ceramic, and organic specimens. Such resources allow the Anthropology Laboratories to offer a full range of artifact processing services including washing, labeling, and basic artifact sorting, analysis of ceramic, lithic, and faunal artifacts, statistical analysis, and report writing.

The personnel of the Anthropology Laboratories work closely with other departments, units, and individuals on campus, particularly Geology, Biology, History, Environmental Sciences, Geography, and Computer Services. The Laboratories also contracts with a number of private organizations to perform specialized analyses of artifacts and other archaeological materials.


Dept. of Anthropology, P.O. Box 15200,
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-5200, USA.