About The Making of Ancient Eurasia Project

The Making of Ancient Eurasia (MAE) project is an interdisciplinary research consortium in which anthropologists from the University of Chicago, Washington University in Saint Louis, Cornell University, Idaho State University, and materials scientists at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and the Australian Synchrotron are collaborating in the simultaneous investigation of early ceramic and metal technologies in the Eurasian steppes, the Caucasus, and Central China. The MAE investigations are advancing the first combined, comparative anthropological and archaeometric study of ancient Eurasian ceramics and metalwork from macro-, meso-, and micro- scales of physical and chemical analysis. This simultaneous analysis of ceramic and metal materials allows for a broader understanding of the production techniques, organization, and variability that figured in sociocultural development on an interregional scale. Through intensive interactions with ANL and Australian Synchrotron scientists, our project offers opportunities for new archaeometric analytical techniques, such as digital radiography (DR), X-ray computed tomography (XCT), and small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS), to be developed and applied in direct conjunction with anthropological problems.