Archeology - Experiments - Analytics 


Current Projects

Sardinian Clays


After a raw material survey on clay deposits on Sant`Antioco, a neighbouring island of Sardinia, Frank Gfeller analyses the meanwhile prepared and fired samples for their mineralogical composition by means of X-ray diffraction at the Institute of Geology in Bern. The analysis is supported by EXAR e.V.

Previous Projects

Abbey library of Saint Gall

Gold, gems and ivory 

An early medieval liturgical evangelistary, the Codex 53, with its delicate golden ornaments, 60 gems, and exquisitely carved ivory plates absorbed our attention during the summer 2020. What gems were used? Where did they come from? What will the different gold alloys tell us? Are repairs detectable? Who wishes to have a look into the book, visits the museum of the Abbey Library of Saint Gall or may use this link

A Survey on Sardinia

Finding clay

Together with Marie Usadel and Tim Klingenberg of the Ruhr-University Bochum we did a survey on clay deposits on Sant’Antioco, a neighbouring island of Sardinia. We took samples of clay for further archaeometrical and artisanal analysis and researched about resources in a cultural and social landscape.

Analyses for the Canton Bern 

Hallstatt Ceramics from Attiswil and Thunstetten 

In 2020 we were examining sherds of the Hallstatt period from Attiswil and Thunstetten (Oberaargau, Canton Bern).
The Departement for Prehistoric and Nautical Archaeology, entrusted us with the  XRD-analyses for this material and gave us access to XRF-data.
In cooperation with the Institut for Integrative Prehistory and Archeological Science (IPAS) we characterised the composition of the objects.

Summer School 2020 

--- for 2020 cancelled due to the current situation ---

Pottery Craft:
Theory – Practice – Analytics 

ArchaeoLytics offers intensive courses about pottery craft for archaeologists and students of archaeology.
The objective is a deepened comprehension
for the raw material clay and the competence to apply the insights on archaeological issues. A practical training in a workspace atmosphere is supported by the theoretical basis of materiality and embodiment of knowledge. In addition appropriate archaeological samples are discussed in thin sections and as chemical-mineralogical data set.

Teaching fellowship for experimental archeology at Ruhr University  Bochum

2020 a hands-on seminar on pottery craft was held by Nadja Melko. The students experienced the material properties of clay and basic forming techniques in the training workshop and discussed the social integration of crafting techniques and the embodiment of knowledge.

Yellow Roman tiles from the region of Wettswil ZH

Roman tiles from the Swiss Molasse-Basin usually show red colour. However a remarkable quantity of yellow tiles have been excavated by the cantonal department of archaeology Zürich. A part of these tiles have been found in a kiln close to Wettswil ZH while others were spread in several sites nearby. Based on an archaeometrical study ArchaeoLytics examined the formation process of firing colours using X-Ray fluorecece and X-Ray diffraction.