Palaeoecology and Palaeobotany Laboratories
These laboratories include facilities for the investigation of macrobotanical remains as well as phytolith and starch microremains. The laboratories are equipped with a positive-displacement laminar flow hood to provide a contamination-free environment for preparing and analysing ancient samples. The light microscopy section consists of three high-power Olympus microscopes fitted with digital cameras for direct imaging and measurement. A Keyence VHX6000 fully digital microscope possesses a continual magnification range from 10 to 2000x and provides auto-photo correction and stitching. The Keyence has a mobile lens allowing for the microscopic analysis of small artefacts as well as the surface of larger artefacts. The laboratories also include a JEOL InTouch Scope JSM-IT100LA compact SEM with an attached Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDX). The laboratory team is also in the process of developing comparative collections for both micro- and macrobotanical materials, specifically focusing on Asia and Africa. Beyond palaeobotanical applications, researchers use the microscopy facility to study and characterise a variety of archaeological materials, including cultural artefacts, teeth, bone, eggshell, pigments, and dental calculus.