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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Field Museum of Natural History
  • Laure Dussubieux
  • (312) 665-7240
  • Patrick R Williams
Award Date:07/10/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 163,230
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 163,230
  • FY 2020=$163,230
Start Date:09/01/2020
End Date:08/31/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Support for collaborative projects in the Elemental Analysis Facility at The Field Museum
Federal Award ID Number:2016729
DUNS ID:042072157
Program Officer:
  • John Yellen
  • (703) 292-8759

Awardee Location

Street:1400 S LAKE SHORE DR
Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Field Museum of Natural History
Street:1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

This award will continue National Science Foundation (NSF) support for the Elemental Analysis Facility (EAF) at the Field Museum in Chicago, which hosts instrumentation for the rapid compositional analysis of ancient materials like ceramics, glass, metals, and pigments, to enhance research on a very wide range of anthropological topics. Researchers are able to analyze archaeological samples for major, minor, and trace elements in a non-destructive manner to address questions related to the archaeology of cultural production, interaction and exchange and advance the cause of material conservation of The Field Museum's renowned anthropology collections. The EAF serves the Field Museum community as well as scholars and students from the Chicago area, the Midwest and elsewhere by offering financial support to offset travel and accommodation expenses as well as part of the analytical costs. The presence of an on-site laboratory at the Field Museum creates the opportunity to study artifacts from the unique collections of the museum that could not be moved easily to outside analytical facilities. The EAF also supports undergraduate and graduate student research and training. Students are initiated into the analytical process by undertaking their own analyses and are trained in method development, the statistical processing of the data, and interpretation. Results of this research will inform future exhibits and education activities of The Field Museum, which provides science education and outreach for hundreds of thousands of school children and millions of visitors annually. The EAF includes a scanning electron microscope with an energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS), and inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). The ICP-MS can be fitted with two lasers. One of the lasers is dedicated to the sampling of small objects with a high throughput, whereas the second laser, a totally unique, custom-transformed apparatus, accommodates large objects. A new experimental portable laser is able to sample artifacts outside the lab and can be used for elemental analysis with LA-ICP-MS or for isotope analysis (in collaboration with outside facilities). This equipment is complemented by three portable XRF instruments for totally non-invasive investigations of artifacts on the premises of the Museum or in the field. The intellectual merits of the project include the establishment of extensive new datasets of archaeological and ethnological material from around the world that directly inform hypotheses about ancient trade and exchange, technology, and their relationship to the development of social complexity around the world. By providing expertise for the investigation of ancient material, linking leading scholars and graduate students to the museum's extensive collections, and giving them the tools to analyze these one-of-a-kind assemblages, the project will significantly enhance understanding of the role of cultural production in the development of complex societies. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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