X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry is a prevalent means of non-destructive elemental analysis in archaeology, the earth and environmental sciences, cultural heritage and museum studies, and other fields. A few universities have specialized archaeological XRF laboratories.

We are fundamentally different. 

The Yale Archaeological XRF ExoLab (YAXX) is not a laboratory in the traditional sense. That is, our XRF instruments are not restricted to a particular room on campus. Instead, we use portable XRF instruments that can analyze artifacts or other objects in our Archaeomaterials Suite, across campus at the Peabody Museum or the Yale University Art Gallery, on a mountainside, or in an archaeological field house on the opposite side of the world. We work outside (“exo-”) the lab – hence, an “exolab.”

YAXX is part of the Yale Initiative for the Study of Ancient Pyrotechnology (Y-PYRO).


February 20, 2018
A new paper from Y-PYRO Director Ellery Frahm and Christian Tryon of Harvard University was published online today at Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. As described...
December 15, 2017
Y-PYRO Director Ellery Frahm has a newly published article in Journal of Archaeological Science on pXRF of experimental and ancient Syrian ceramics, revealing chemical...
May 3, 2017
“Identifying the movement of lithic materials to reconstruct social networks has been a mainstay of research into Palaeolithic cognition and behavior, but such datasets are...