Research | Geoarchaeology

Geoarchaeology represents the interface of the geosciences with archaeology, where earth science approaches and techniques are used to answer anthropological questions about the human past. The University of Arizona has one of the oldest academic traditions of geoarchaeology in North America. Important fundamental aspects of geoarchaeology are taught at the UA through Geosciences, and Anthropology in the following areas:



Vance Holliday - Geoarchaeology, stratigraphy, soils
David Killick - Ancient mining and metallurgy, ceramic materials, provenance
Barbara Mills - Technology and provenance of ceramics, seriation
John Olsen - Landscape archaeology, remote sensing
Michael Brian Schiffer - archaeological method and theory, experimental archaeology, ceramic technology
Daniela Triadan - Provenance of ceramics; statistical analysis

Faculty with related interests
Julio Betancourt - Paleoecology, paleoclimatology, plant macrofossils
Andrew Cohen - Geosciences; paleolimnology, stratigraphy
Owen Davis - Paleoecology, palynology (Emeritus)
Jeffrey Dean - Dendrochronology, dendroclimatology
Suzanne Fish - Pollen, phytoliths, macrobotanical remains
Gregory W L Hodgins - AMS of radiocarbon
Timothy Jull - AMS of radiocarbon and other cosmogenic isotopes
Jay Quade - Soil geochemistry
Joaquin Ruiz - Geochemistry, heavy isotopes
Ronald Towner - Dendrochronology and dendroclimatology


Gary Chandler - Electron microscopy
Gary Christopherson - Geographic information systems
William Doelle - Provenance of materials

Facilities, Equipment, and Resources

The UA contains an unusually wide array of fully equipped laboratories and other facilities that enhance training and research in geoarchaeology. Labs are available for basic sediment/soil analyses, petrographic analyses (in both Geosciences and Anthropology), stable isotope geochemistry, paleomagnetics/archaeomagnetics, both conventional and AMS radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology and dendroclimatology, and paleobotany (esp pollen). Additional equipment available across campus includes scanning electron microscopes, a transmission electron microscope, an electron microprobe, metallogenic microscopes, and image processing equipment, and FTIR microscopy. In addition to the UA Main Library and UA Science Library, holdings are also available in the Antevs Library in the Department of Geosciences, and the Anthropology Library in the Arizona State Museum.