The Department of Archaeology has developed eight multi-function laboratory facilities for research in the archaeological sciences, with a strong focus on the identification of diagnostic biomolecules and the stable isotope analysis of bulk samples and specific compounds. Our research examines the organic and inorganic components of a range of materials, including bone, teeth, dental calculus, ceramics, charred and uncharred plant remains, coprolites, residues, and sediments. Our laboratories possess state-of-the-art equipment and are already amongst the leading laboratories globally for biomolecular and environmental archaeology. They are managed by our Laboratory Manager, Dr. Jana Ilgner (Ilgner@shh.mpg.de), together with numerous group leaders who jointly supervise a team of technicians and student helpers. We are committed to research and learning and have produced Open Access papers, videos, and interviews, as well as holding workshops, with the aim of widely circulating our methods and techniques so that as many researchers as possible from around the world can benefit.
Click on the individual laboratory pages below to learn more.
These laboratories undertake several biochemical and isotopic studies, including analyses of lipid residues, secondary metabolites, faecal biomarkers, and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis.
This laboratory services the different archaeological projects at MPI-GEA. Fundamental research is undertaken to improve the quality of radiocarbon measurements and expand range of radiocarbon applications.