With a double major in anthropology and Earth science, my research experiences include both archaeological field school in Belize and work in a clean lab. In field school I experienced what participating in a Maya dig is like: early mornings, long days in the tropical heat, the rewarding feeling of finding artifacts and making maps of the site, and finally, validating that archaeology is what I want to do. My more recent work in the clean lab has branched off from that field school experience. Throughout the summer of 2018 and the academic year that followed, I have been working to expand our knowledge of neodymium as a useful new method in archaeology. Specifically, I am aiming to improve the methods in which the provenance of ceramic artifacts can be attained. During my research I worked with clay samples taken from the Belize River Valley during the 2013–2014 field seasons by a previous University of New Hampshire student. I analyzed both the strontium isotopes, a method that is already used in archaeological research, and the neodymium isotopes, a method new to the archaeological field. My results will go toward a push to make neodymium isotopic analysis more common in the field and a database of known neodymium concentrations available for future archaeologists. Funded by a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, this project has allowed me to combine both of my majors for my senior thesis and has set me up for a great beginning to my graduate career.

Publication Date

Spring 4-2019


UNH Undergraduate Research Journal

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Eleanor Harrison‐Buck, Julie Bryce


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type