ICArEHB’s research is currently supported by 4 main labs (MicroDiAL, LARMAT, paleoED, and LEXA). These are aimed at processing and analyzing data from research projects, but they are also prepared to provide external commercial services (see more here) and support academic activities. Access to the collections and equipment available is possible by contacting the persons responsible for each lab.
Microscopy and Digital Archaeology Laboratory
At the Microscopy and Digital Archaeology Laboratory (MicroDiAL), we develop research contained in the so-called “invisible record” through microscopic techniques and computational analyses of archaeological data (GIS, 3D modeling, and agent-based modeling). Our specific areas of expertise are:
- Archaeological micromorphology
- Archaeological materials microscopic analysis
- Paleoecological, paleobotanical and micropaleontological reconstructions
- Geographic Information Systems
- Photogrammetry, 3D modeling and reconstruction
- Application and software development
- Advanced computing
Laboratory for Analysis of Raw Materials and Ancient Tools
This facility houses a geological reference collection for Portuguese cherts and flints (LusoLit), a portable XRF Bruker TITAN and a mechanical prototype developed to perform automated experiments and test the performance of ancient stone tools and raw materials.
Paleo-environmental and Diet Laboratory
Past environments play an important role in the evolution of human species, societies, and cultures. Geochemical analyses, such as stable carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotopes provides a means of characterizing past environments and diets crucial for understanding the evolution of human behaviors and cultures. The laboratory provides a platform for the preparation of biological samples for geochemical analysis, and the necessary material to prepare samples for micro-fossil analysis for paleo-environmental reconstructions.
Our areas of expertise:
- Sampling and preparation of bone collagen for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis
- Incremental sampling of animal and human enamel for carbon and oxygen stable isotope analysis
- Micro-sampling of dentine for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis
- Sample preparation for diatom, foraminifera and ostracode analysis
Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology
The LEXA lab is aimed at developing controlled scientific experiments to generate and test archaeological hypotheses. Most of our experiments are performed in open-air conditions and are intended to produce, increase and enrich reference collections for comparative studies. Our main areas of expertise are lithic use-wear, raw materials performance, bone tools manufacture, and the use/impact of fire across several archaeological contexts and materials. All experimental materials available at our lab are accompanied by a detailed report on the experiment protocol.