Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute

R.L. Andrews Center for Perishable Analysis

The R. L. Andrews Center for Perishables Analysis, colloquially known as the Basket Lab, is a unique facility dedicated to the analysis, interpretation, and publication of prehistoric and historic perishable artifacts. Examples of these artifacts include basketry, bags, sandals, cordage, and clothing. A vast number of perishable assemblages recovered from around the world have passed through this facility.

These assemblages include the world's oldest textile impressions from Pavlov and Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic, the oldest perishables in the New World, including the basketry from Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Pennsylvania, sandals from Fort Rock Cave, Oregon, and the cordage from Monte Verde, Chile. Additionally, a wide variety of cordage, textile, and basketry impressions preserved on ceramic vessels and fired hearth clay from the U.S. and Europe are archived and studied in the lab.

This facility houses a substantial library dedicated to organic artifacts, a sizable comparative collection from around the world, and is the only laboratory in North America dedicated to training the next generation of perishable analysts.

Dr. James Adovasio, director of the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute, discusses the unique features of Mercyhurst’s newly renovated R.L. Andrews Center for Perishables Analysis, officially dedicated May 5, 2011. (Video courtesy WSEE-TV.)

Click here to read more about the lab's facilities and recent developments at the R.L. Andrews Center for Perishables Analysis.

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