Thin section of a glazed ceramic, plane polarized light









Laboratory for Analysis of Cultural Materials

This CHAD laboratory provides facilities for the study and interpretation of cultural materials from around the world. There is an emphasis on objects and building materials of stone, ceramic, metal, and glass. Microscopy and other analytical methods are combined with ethnographic fieldwork and with historical research. Goals are to better understand the history and reasons for change in how people make and use things and in the style of what they build or design, in the range of fabrication methods, possible functions, and aesthetic intents and values expressed by material culture. Other important missions of the laboratory include research into mechanisms of deterioration, and development and testing of new preservation methods and approaches.

To inquire about the laboratory activities or to discuss possible projects contact Chandra L. Reedy, the laboratory director: E-Mail Laboratory Director

This historic brick sample from the Read House in Newcastle, Delaware, was mounted on blue-dyed epoxy. Blue areas indicate the presence of pores, white grains are sand, the black is carbonized organic material, and the brown is clay. Image analysis is used to quantify all of these components.

Read About Example Lab Projects

New: On-Line Tutorial on thin-section petrography of stone and ceramic cultural materials, Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms