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). YAXX is involved in teaching and research at all levels in the Department of Anthropology and Council for Archaeological Studies. Our students learn to use portable XRF in class demonstrations and exercises, undergraduate projects, and graduate studies.