Elemental Analysis Facility

The Elemental Analysis Facility (EAF) consists of an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) laboratory, an X-ray Fluorescence laboratory, and an optical mineralogy laboratory

Museum curators and researchers are using this instrumentation extensively to further research programs on early state expansion in the Andes (Ryan Williams), evolving social networks on the north coast of Papua New Guinea (John Terrell), the social dynamics of early village societies and the emergence of early states (William Parkinson), African pre-industrial civilizations (Foreman Bandama) and, trade and exchange around the Indian Ocean (Laure Dussubieux). In addition to research conducted by Field Museum staff, the EAF collaborates with scientists from other institutions, bringing researchers and students from all over the country to The Field Museum to learn about compositional analysis of ancient materials to enhance their research on a very wide range of anthropological topics.  To inquire about opportunities for collaborative research at the EAF, contact us.

The Elemental Analysis Facility generates numerous publications each year detailing the results of our research.

The original equipment of the EAF was funded by NSF grant BCS 0320903 (2003). The ICP-MS was replaced with NSF grant BCS 1531394 (2015). The laser ablation system was replaced thanks to funding provided by The Negaunee Foundation to the Field Museum (2019). Various projects conducted at the EAF using LA-ICP-MS were funded by the following NSF grants: BCS 0818401 (2008), 1321731 (2013), 1628026 (2016), 2016729 (2020). The portable XRF were acquired thanks to funding provided by grants to the Field Museum by The Grainger Foundation (2007, 2021) and The Negaunee Foundation (2014). The petrographic microscope was funded by The Grainger Foundation (2007). 

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