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Paleoarchaeology Lab


Graduate and undergraduate students working in the Paleoarchaeology Laboratory

The Paleoarchaeology Laboratory is in Room 016 of the Anthropology Building (10 Sachem Street, New Haven) at Yale University. It features both comparative osteological specimens as well as fossil collections. In addition to its primary purpose as a zooarchaeological research facility, this lab includes resources for students and researchers to collect data on ancient ornaments, stone tools, and other remains that are commonly found at archaeological sites.

The comparative osteological collection currently features a limited range of mammalian, avian, and reptilian taxa, but it is constantly growing. The comparative taphonomic collection contains a large assemblage of small mammals fed (in a deceased state) under controlled conditions to raptors and Komodo dragons at Zoo Atlanta. Large mammal bones have also been cut-marked and percussion-marked as archaeological references. Because of its affiliation with the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, students and researchers may check out research specimens that will further aid them in their identifications in the lab.

The Paleoarchaeology Laboratory is also the temporary home for fossil collections on loan from Malawi and Indonesia. Active zooarchaeological projects include analysis of subfossil mammals and snails from five cave sites in northern Malawi (Fingira Rock, Hora 1, Mazinga 1, and Kadawonda 1 and 2), and analysis of small mammal assemblages from Liang Bua cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia. Grace Veatch (Emory Ph.D. student), Alex Bertacchi (Yale Ph.D. student), Hannah Keller (Yale Ph.D. student), and a number of undergraduate researchers and work study students are commonly present in the lab, making it a vibrant and busy place.

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