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Northwest Research Obsidian Studies Laboratory

A note about our services during the COVID-19 pandemic As of April 18, 2020, Northwest Research Obsidian Studies Laboratory is still in operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask that you confirm directly with us before sending artifacts for analysis to verify that we can accept packages at our mailing address. We send out our best wishes to all and hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. If something changes in our ability to receive packages we will post an update here.

Northwest Research Obsidian Studies Laboratory (NWROSL), has been operating continuously out of the Willamette Valley of Western Oregon since 1995. We offer a variety of different analytical services related to obsidian artifact trace element provenance (“sourcing”) studies and obsidian source studies, primarily in the context of archaeological research. This website describes our services and provides methodological and source information that supplements and supports our contract investigations and research interests. Click here for a summary of our XRF services. Interested in our company logo? Read more about it.

Northwest Archaeometrics: You might want to also have a look around our companion lab,  Northwest Archaeometrics. Northwest Archaeometrics offers 3D scanning and morphometric analyses of artifacts, GIS services, archaeological excavation and laboratory workflow/inventory software, and more.

Looking for Hydration Services? Our former obsidian hydration laboratory is now operating independently as Willamette Analytics. Jennifer Thatcher, the longtime experienced hydration analyst at Northwest Research, remains at the helm.

We are happy to announce that we have made available a shapefile as well as downloadable spreadsheet containing the source locations in our database! To access these data, head over to the resources page or click here.