The Museum of Anthropology curates archaeological and ethnological materials from most regions of the world, with especially strong holdings from North American archaeology. The diverse holdings include several important collections, including the Charles E. Grayson Collection of archery equipment, arguably the best ethnographic collection of such items in the world. The new Museum Support Center, a curation and conservation facility, was completed in 1994 and offers 20,000 square feet of temperature-and-humidity controlled space for the collections maintained by the museum.
The Human Skeletal Remains Identification Laboratory provides an opportunity for training in skeletal biology and forensic anthropology. It contains most of the equipment needed to learn the histomorphometric analysis of the micro-structure of bone as well to make additional studies of skeletons. It is a major research facility which often is called upon to identify or describe unknown skeletons or bodies.
The Palaeoethnobotany Laboratory situated in Switzler Hall is a leading facility for studying plant specimens associated with human beings. Macroscopic as well as microscopic studies are carried out there, but the main emphasis is on the analysis of phytoliths, microscopic plant silica bodies that preserve much better in the archaeological record than does pollen. Phytolith Database >>
The Zooarchaeology Laboratory includes comparative skeletons of nearly 700 mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and mollusks of the Holarctic regions. The collection is used to help identify archaeological remains of animals and for teaching this process.
The Fossil Cast Collection housed in Swallow Hall includes more than 200 replicas of the most important fossil human ancestors. These casts are used in all levels of graduate and undergraduate teaching, and can be used by students in research or independent study.
Missouri Tree-Ring Analysis Laboratory is part of the MU School of Natural Resources. Its equipment can be applied to dendrochronology since Missouri has the best tree ring record in North America outside of the Southwest. The facility is also used for monitoring climate and environmental quality. Its director is Dr. Richard Guyette.
The University of Missouri Research Reactor is located on the south side of the campus. It is one of the largest nuclear reactors in the U.S. and is devoted exclusively to research. Some of this research is anthropologically oriented, and two of its staff, Dr. Michael Glascock and Dr. Hector Neff, hold adjunct positions in the Department of Anthropology. The Archaeometry Laboratory located at the Reactor houses analytical equipment, computing facilities reference collections, and databases used for sourcing obsidian, pottery, chert, basalt, and other archaeological materials. Capabilities include neutron activation analysis, petrographic thin section analysis, and obsidian hydration dating.
The Center for Studies in Oral Tradition serves as a focus for the study of oral lore, literature and accounts everywhere. It is under the direction of Prof. John Miles Foley, who has an adjunct appointment in Anthropology.
107 Swallow Hall | 573-882-4731 (phone) | 573-884-5450 (fax)