Department Laboratories

The Department of Archaeology houses multiple laboratory and outdoor facilities that can be used by students and researchers. Please see below for a list and brief description of each of our general labs. For access to these labs, please email the Laboratory Manager at 

Archaeobotany Laboratory (SWH 9121)

The Archaeobotany Lab is used for phytolith and plant analysis (e.g. seeds, wood, and charcoal) and is equipped with Olympus and Leica microscopes for analysis.  The lab also contains a local botany reference collection and a small chemical lab with a fume hood and sinks.

Zooarchaeology Laboratory (SWH 9125)

The zooarchaeology lab contains the Department’s comparative faunal collection.  Bench space and basic laboratory equipment – balances, lamps, microscopes - are available for researchers. 

Depending on availability, bench space in our zooarchaeology lab may be rented by non-departmental researchers and, in certain circumstances, a bench fee may apply. Researchers interested in using the zooarchaeology reference collection should contact the Laboratory Manager (

Bioanthropology Teaching Laboratory (EDB 9643)

The physical anthropology lab is one of our teaching laboratories and can seat 35 students. This lab houses many of our bioanthropological research and teaching collections (osteology, forensic, pathology, primatology, and hominin) as well as metric equipment used in osteological analyses.

Saywell Hall Preparation Laboratory (SWH 9129)

The Saywell Hall prep lab has six work benches with outlets, two fume hoods, three sinks, and an oven. Basic laboratory equipment such as microscopes, balances, a sonicator and glassware are available.  Students and researchers can book long term space in this laboratory for their archaeological analyses.

Photo/Graphics Laboratory (EDB 8612)

The photography lab is equipped for the photography of artifacts and other archaeological materials. Black and white backdrops and cloths can be used and a variety of cameras, lenses, and tripods are available for use. Computers with software for image processing are also available for use in this space. Depending on availability, camera equipment may be loaned out for field work upon request. To enquire about field equipment and/or booking the laboratory facilities, please contact the Laboratory Manager (

Flintknapping Pit (West of EDB Loading Bay)

The flintknapping pit is a covered, outdoor area used in experimental archaeological research and teaching. This area is used in our material culture and lithics courses as well as in our field school and methods courses.

* Flaking Pit Policy v3.1.doc
Flaking Pit Policy

Material Culture Teaching Laboratory (SWH 9084)

The 24 seat material culture lab is one of the Department’s teaching laboratories. Bench tops are equipped with outlets, microscopes and balances.

Education Building Preparation

The catalogue/processing laboratory in the Education Building is equipped with multiple bench tops, sinks and fume hoods.  Students can book long-term space for artifact analyses or other archaeological projects.  Basic laboratory equipment is available upon request.

Outdoor Taphonomic Centre (Burnaby Mountain)

The outdoor taphonomic centre is located in an undeveloped area of Burnaby Mountain. This centre is used for experimental archaeological research and teaching archaeological methods.

Flotation Laboratory (SWH 9131)

The flotation laboratory is purpose built for the flotation of archaeological soils.  It is equipped with sinks, nesting screens, drying racks, and  an industrial spray hose for wet screening and washing. Please contact the Laboratory Manager ( ) for access.

The laboratory also houses a saw. Please contact Dr. Francesco Berna for access to the saw. (