The Historic Laboratory is home to two components of historic archaeology: archaeological material analyses and funerary archaeology. Students and staff process all historic materials that are recovered from excavations conducted by Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute. In this manner, students are involved in the cleaning, cataloguing, analyses, and the electronic data recording of a wide range of historic artifacts. The resulting information contributes to site excavation reports and serves as a large data base for ongoing historic materials research.
The Funerary archaeology component of the historic laboratory involves students, faculty and staff in the field documentation and database compilation of North Eastern Pennsylvania’s historic cemeteries and gravestones. Laboratory staff and students have accumulated a growing database of historic cemetery and marker information that serves as the basis for a number of social, economic, demographic, and environmental research projects. Students receive training in field documentation, data entry, material culture studies, and genealogical analysis. The faculty and staff of the funerary archaeology laboratory also provide preservation and restoration advice and workshops for local and regional cemetery organizations.