Ceramic Analysis Laboratory
The Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute Ceramics Laboratory is dedicated to the analysis and interpretation of prehistoric pottery. One of the more ubiquitous artifact types of the past 10,000 years, fired clay items, such as storage and cooking vessels and smoking pipes, offer archaeology students an abundant and potentially rich source of information on the past. In the Ceramics Lab students are introduced to a myriad of techniques for the analysis of pottery, including method of manufacture, decorative style, function, use wear, food residues, and paste and temper composition. Current research is focused on the analysis of the substantial ceramic assemblage from the Scarem-Kramer site, a late 15th – early 16th century Monongahela village in southwestern Pennsylvania, and the Clements site, an ancestral Pueblo site in Taos, New Mexico.