Laboratory Services

PAL’s 4,450 sq. ft. archaeological laboratory houses all functions related to the processing, analysis, cataloging, conservation, and curation of artifacts recovered during our field investigations. The facility includes a state-of-the-art curation/archive room with a high density mobile shelving system which is capable of storing over 15,000 ft3 of cultural material in a climate-controlled, pest-free and secure environment. The laboratory also includes a large artifact processing space, material culture collections area, and a soils and analysis/artifact conservation room.

The laboratory is run by a full-time professional laboratory staff, including a senior laboratory supervisor and a laboratory analyst, who specialize in New England pre- and post-Contact cultural material identifications, analyses, and conservation treatments.

In addition to supporting PAL investigations, the laboratory provides analytical, processing, and curation services to agencies and organizations. Clients that have taken advantage of our laboratory services include:

  • National Park Service
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Rhode Island Army National Guard.

PAL is an approved curation facility for:

  • Rhode Island Army National Guard
  • US Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District
  • State of Rhode Island (through RIHPHC permits)
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts (through MHC permits)

The facility also serves as a short-term repository for collections originating in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, and for materials collected under contract with various state and federal agencies. The curation section of the laboratory is inspected regularly by various state and federal agencies in order to ensure the proper maintenance of the cultural material entrusted to PAL.


PAL also maintains a comprehensive database of radiocarbon dates from samples recovered throughout the Northeast. This database, which is sorted and viewable by location, date, or site name, has proven to be an invaluable tool for students and archaeologists conducting research in the region. These tables may be viewed and printed with Adobe Reader software as PDFs.

Historic ArtifactsCataloging ArtifactsProjectile Points