The Archaeological Science Lab includes three laboratories in the Stanford Archaeology Center, at Stanford University, California. Our lab features five light microscopes for analyzing various archaeological remains, including two Zeiss transmitted microscopes for micro-botanical study (phytoliths and starch grains), a Zeiss reflected microscope for use-wear observations, a Zeiss stereo microscope for analyzing macro-botanical remains and use-wear traces, and an Olympus metallographic microscope for ceramic petrographic research. We have a portable X-ray Fluorescence device for chemical analysis both in the lab and in the field. We also collaborate with the archaeological lab of the Institute of Archaeology, CASS, located in Luoyang, China, for sample preparation and on-site analysis.
We have collected more than 1200 modern botanical specimens from China and other parts of the world for study of ancient plant remains. We have conducted a series of experimental studies on food processing and preparation, such as grinding foodstuffs with grinding stones, and making fermented beverages with various plants. The results of these experiments have also helped generate a comparative database to assist our study of ancient food remains.