Tropical Archaeology Laboratory

About The Tropical Archaeology Lab

This is a clean room laboratory designed around preventing contamination of archaeological materials during processing and analysis. Renovations funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Canada Research Chairs program, and the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary, were completed in 2013 in order to meet strict anti-contamination protocols. This includes the installation of a HEPA Class H14 air filtration system, and the separation of the lab into three distinct spaces. The first space is a gowning area, where lab personnel change into cleanroom attire; second is where microscopy, photography, data recording and entry, and sample preparation occur, and; third is where all physico-chemical analysis occurs.


Located on the eighth floor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology of the Earth Sciences building (ES811) in the University of Calgary.


• Buehler MetaServ2000 Polisher & Grinder
• Buehler IsoMet4000 Precision Cutter
• Buehler PeroThin Thin Sectioning System
• Corning LSE Compact Centrifuge
• Fisher Analog Vortex Mixer
• Fisher Hot Plate
• Fisher MH Series Heated Ultrasonic Bath (5.7L, 40 kHz)
• Jouan CR312 Refrigerated Centrifuge
• Navigator N1D110 Precision Scales
• Olympus BX51 Microscope
• Olympus SZX12 Stereoscope
• Olympus SC50 Camera (cellSens Dimensions)

• Revco ULT 790-5-A31 Refrigerated Chest Freezer
• Thermolyne FA1850-1 Furnace
• Thermolyne Aluminium Hotplate
• Tuttnauer 2340M Autoclave
• VWR 1305U Gravity Convection Oven
• VWR DS-500 Orbital Shaker
• VWR Galaxy 14D Centrifuge
• VWR Symphony Ultrasonic Bath (5.7L, 60Hz)
• VWR Digital Vortex Mixer
• VWR Standard Hotplate

Preparation Laboratory

About The Preparation Lab

This lab provides preparation room and storage space for samples going into the Tropical Archaeology Laboratory, and houses our modern botanical reference collection, which consists of over 1000 samples of over 700 unique species of African plants.


This lab is located on the eighth floor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology of the Earth Sciences building (ES833) in the University of Calgary.


• Acculab VIC412 Digital Scale
• Fisher FS60 Ultrasonic Bath (5.7L, 50/60Hz)
• Fisher Analog Vortex Mixer
• Humbolt Micro Riffle Splitter (3.2mm chute)
• Hund Wetzlar H600/12 Microscope
• Lortone TS10 Stainless Lapidary Trim Saw

• Motic BA410E Microscope
• Motic BA310E Microscope
• Motic Moticam 5 Camera (Images Plus)
• Orion 310 PerpHecT LogR pH Meter
• VWR Digital Vortex Mixer
• VWR Fixed Speed Vortex Mixer

Mobile Clean Laboratory

About the Mobile Lab

The SDS team is proud to say that they are one of the few teams worldwide to use a cleanroom while in the field. This one-of-a-kind mobile cleanroom moves with the team, and allows for the control of modern contaminants as soon as materials are excavated. The unit consists of an aluminum frame encased by a heavy-duty canvas, along with two air filtration components. The first component removes large particulates, and the second filter, a HEPA purifier, acts as both a pump and filtration system, filtering out particles less than one micrometer in size. Like the Tropical Archaeology Lab at the University of Calgary, the unit is also separated into separate rooms: first is a gowning room where excavators change into clean room attire, and; second is the excavation zone, which accommodates a 3x3m archaeological trench.


This lab moves around the Tanzanian landscape along with our team of excavators.

Botanical Reference Collection