The Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) is a joint endeavor between the Penn Museum and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). CAAM offers the facilities, materials, equipment, and expert personnel to teach and mentor Penn students in a range of scientific techniques crucial to archaeologists and other scholars as they seek to interpret the past in an interdisciplinary context which links the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.
Its mission is to:
- introduce and train undergraduate and graduate students in the analysis of archaeological materials;
- foster and mentor undergraduate and graduate student research;
- support Penn research, particularly archaeological fieldwork, by training students in the collection and analysis of specimens and data.
CAAM’s main teaching and research laboratories are located in the newly renovated West Wing of the Museum. The laboratories offer facilities for sample preparation, examination, and analysis of samples, and include a Human Skeletal Laboratory, a Ceramics Laboratory dedicated to thin-section petrography, a Multi-Purpose Laboratory equipped with fume hood and chemical storage, a general purpose Wet Laboratory, a Zooarchaeology Laboratory and a Classroom with digital capabilities for lab-based teaching to classes with up to 25 students. Along with specialized instruments and tools, these laboratories also house extensive teaching and reference collections of a range of materials in hand specimens and thin-sections.
In addition to regular courses, CAAM provides a mentoring environment in which students are able to carry out research-oriented independent studies, honors theses, and graduate work.
The Center is staffed by Teaching Specialists who are domain experts in one or more of the following eight areas of specialization: ceramics, digital archaeology, archaeobotany, archaeozoology, human skeletal analysis, lithics, archaeometallurgy, and conservation.
Marie-Claude Boileau, Ph.D., Laboratory Coordinator and Teaching Specialist for Ceramics
Peter J. Cobb, Ph.D., Kowalski Family Teaching Specialist for Digital Archaeology
Moritz Jansen, Teaching Specialist for Archaeometallurgy
Katherine Moore, Ph.D., Mainwaring Teaching Specialist for Archaeozoology
Chantel White, Ph.D. Teaching Specialist for Archaeobotany