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University of Northern Iowa - Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

UNI Archaeometry & Geochemsitry of the Land Lab

Archaeometry applies a variety of analytical techniques and scientific knowledge to archaeological excavations, materials and surveys. Our research characterizes and interprets the dynamic interrelationships between landscapes and humanity. An understanding of geologic processes and history provides a vital foundation when investigating complex environmental systems.

Research areas: Geologic fieldwork/mapping, Landscape evolution, materials characterization (pottery and stone), Soil productivity and Climate Resilience, Watershed Analyses


Lab director – Chad Heinzel Ph.D. The overall goal of my teaching, research and service seeks to understand and communicate the interrelationships between human civilizations and their environments (landscapes/soils). I seek to discover and characterize these human/environmental connections, I use and collaborate with multiple scientific disciplines (archaeology, biology, climate, and my specialty geology). It is my hope that by effectively quantifying and communicating the environmental successes and failures of past civilizations, we can strengthen/improve our own interactions/relationships with the Earth's dynamic environments.

Steve Smith – Lab Technician

Undergraduate scientists 2023-2024
Avery Merkley - USGS EDMAP, Fulton Quadrangle, Field and Labwork
Starr Claussen - USGS EDMAP, Fulton Quadrangle, Field and Labwork
Sage Cappi - USGS EDMAP, Fulton Quadrangle, Field and Labwork
Sam Kern - Arcaeometry of Moraccan Artifacts

Reseach Alumni Page

Analytical equipment

Field: AMS Bucket Auger, Soil Probes, Soil Description Kits w/Munsell books and Capsure tool, DJI Quadcopters (Mavic2Pro, Air2S and MiniPro3), Stream velocity meters (Swoffer Model 3100), Trimble Geo7X, GeoXH, Recon, and 40 Juno SBs, Research Kayak with DepthFinder, Water chemistry probes and trolling motor

Fulton Quadrangle, Jackson County, Iowa, North Fork of the Maquoketa River Floodplain with adjacent loess uplands, EDMAP 2023/24.

Lab: ICP-MS (Thermo-Fisher - ICAP-RQ), XRF (Bruker - Jaguar S6 and Tracer 5), XRD (Bruker Eco-D8), CEM Mars 6 Digestion Microwave, Nikon and Lecia Petrographic Microscopes w/cameras, Piette and Sieve Soil Partical-Size Analysis, Frantz Magnetic Barrier Separator and LST liquid separation for Heavy mineral analyses


Seeberger Rock Shelter, Jackson County, Iowa

Dry Run Creek


United State Geological Survey EDMAP products

Western Sicily


Fall Fieldwork continues in Jackson County.