Archaeological Isotope Laboratory (AIL)


Director: Dr. Deanna Grimstea

OSU graduate student Sharon Buck in the Archaeological Isotope Laboratory



The Archaeological Isotope Laboratory has the primary goal of providing biogeochemical analyses to the anthropological community, while training students in the methods of isotope geochemistry. The research in our lab covers everything from human migration and diet to animal and corn sourcing.



Dr. Deanna Grimstead preparing samples in the Archaeological Isotope Laboratory

The Department of Anthropology houses a 475ft2 wet chemistry lab, where all initial sample processing and preparation occurs. We share a six room clean lab class 100 and above, and a Finnigan MAT 261A thermal ionization mass spectrometer (TIMS) with The School of Earth Sciences. This facility is capable of analyzing strontium, calcium, lead, neodymium, and osmium. We also collaborate with other labs to analyze oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotopes in modern and archaeological materials.



Dr. Deanna Grimstead and OSU graduate students conducting fieldwork


Currently we are analyzing materials from Azerbaijan, Turkey, The Four Corners region of the U.S., and California. These projects seek to understand how humans alter their local and extra-local environments, and how this makes the communities more or less susceptible to climate change, and to understand the health and diet differences between local versus non-local individuals.