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Northwest Research Obsidian Studies Laboratory

Research at the NWROSL


Prehistoric utilization of Obsidian Cliffs source

In conjunction with our commercial laboratory services, we are also involved in numerous research projects that have captured our interest. In general, we are most interested in:

  • Geochemical surveys of obsidian sources in the western United States and Canada.
  • Trace element studies of significant artifacts and sites that would otherwise receive little attention.
  • Exploration of methodologies useful in the interpretation of trace element provenance information.
  • Examining large-scale regional patterns of prehistoric source utilization.

Through our sister lab, Northwest Archaeometrics, we are also involved in research relating to:

  • 3D scanning and morphometric analyses of archaeological artifacts.
  • GIS based predictive modelling of terrestrial and submerged archaeological sites.
  • ArchieDB - An open source cataloging and workflow system for archaeological excavations and laboratory analyses.