Excavations at Erlitou

The Geoarchaeology Lab at Washington University provides students and professionals with opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary research within the fields of Anthropology, Environmental Sciences, and Earth Sciences. Lab personnel are investigating relationships between humans, their behavior, and the physical environment through the application of analytical techniques, concepts, and field methods drawn from the earth sciences and applied to archaeological problems. Lab components of research projects in the American Southeast and Midwest as well as in China involve studies of human and environmental processes involved in site formation, the sedimentary context of archaeological remains, soils and sediments relevant to archaeology, the relationship between past settlement and landscape evolution, paleoclimatic reconstruction, and human impacts on the environment. A variety of methods are employed in the lab to pursue our research goals, including conventional archaeological investigations, subsurface coring and trenching, sediment analyses (particle size, loss-on-ignition), soil/sediment chemical content assays, microartifact analysis, micromorphology, remote sensing, and GIS.