Mission and Scope

The Penn Paleoecology Lab is dedicated to the analysis of human-environment interactions across the later Holocene. Our approach involves the combination of data and approaches from archaeology, history, and the environmental sciences. The latter includes analysis of pollen, sediments, plant macroremains including wood, and stable isotopes.

The laboratory opened for research in August of 2019. It is well equiped for the microscopic analysis of plant remains (seeds, wood charcoal and thin sections, phytoliths, pollen). The lab includes wet chemical factilities for the extraction of phytoliths, pollen and for isotopic sample preparation (animal bone and teeth, and plant remains). Our comparative collections of seeds, wood, pollen and phytoliths cover a diversity of flora, including South Asia, the Near East, the Mediterranean, South American, and Central America (with a specific regional focus on the east coast).

The lab is a busy place, with analysis of material from around the world in progress. Although most of our research focuses on South Asia, graduate student and other projects have included analysis of plant material, sediments, and artifacts from Cambodia, Mexico, New Mexico, Yemen, Turkey, Sudan, Russia, Cambodia, Oman, and Nova Scotia.


Explore Current PP Lab Research Projects

Early Historic Landscapes of the Tungabhadra Corridor

The Expansion of Rice Farming




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