Flint Knapping

On Monday, Terry Ozbun from Archaeological Investigations Northwest gave a flintknapping demonstration to my intro to archaeology class.  It was a perfect time for the demonstration as we have covered many tool types from Oldowan technology up to Clovis (quite a sweep!).  I am tired of gesturing at photos and drawings of tools on PowerPoint […]

Back to the Source: 40th Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association

I just got home from Anchorage, Alaska, where I spent the last few days at the Alaska Anthropological Association Meetings.  I presented a paper on my work with northern ceramics as part of the Cape Espenberg Session.  I focused on the challenges specific to studying northern ceramics, including methodological issues, environmental constraints, and mobility issues […]

Thoughts on Temper (or Tempered Thoughts?)

Post by Nikita Collier, PSU undergraduate and Archaeology Lab Intern Temper is material that is added to clay that changes the properties of ceramics as they are fired, preventing rapid shrinkage or expansion.  Temper also helps the clay heat evenly, which prevents cracking and breakage. All of the materials in the bags were collected from […]

Taking a Second Look

Post by Emily Rocha, PSU undergraduate and Archaeology Lab Intern This quarter I have been going back through the bulk samples we sorted last term. I have been double checking them, or basically, resorting them making sure each material type is in its correct place. The step after this, which I have done a bit of, […]

The archaeology of archaeology

Like a lot of anthropology departments, we have a few older collections that do not have great (or any) location information or documentation associated with them.  Several of the students working in my lab this quarter, Courtney and Lyssia, are digging through the collections and inventorying the materials.  Right now they are working on collections made by […]

Nose Decoration?

Stacie found this amber bead when she was sorting samples last quarter.  I have found amber beads before when working at a site on the (relatively) nearby Noatak River and blue glass beads from a 17th century site at Cape Krusenstern.  But, beads are not an every day kind of find.  Amber can be found […]

Super Sorter

Post by Codi Quimby, PSU undergraduate and Lab Intern Processing large amounts of 1/8” material from bulk samples was quite tedious and at the same time incredibly rewarding. When I first began my work I found differentiating the different types of material quite challenging, especially differentiating between wood, antler and ivory. But by my last day […]

The Human Element

Post by Chris Milton, PSU undergraduate and Lab Tech for the Climate Change and Archaeology Project Entering the doors to room 93, in the basement of Cramer Hall at PSU, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My experience with archaeology had always been in the field, of which most of that was underwater, never in a lab. […]