Geoarchaeology Laboratory, UH Hilo

The Geoarchaeology Laboratory was founded in 2004 through a Major Research Instrumentation Grant from the National Science Foundation (BCS-0317528), and specializes in non-destructive analyses of basalt and volcanic glass artifacts from the Pacific. It is currently funded under another 2-year NSF grant (BCS-0949058) to non-destructively analyze basalt artifacts in Museum Collections throughout Hawai`i.Peter Mills (left) and Steve Lundblad (right) sitting at the QuanX TM EDXRF spectrometer.

How XRF works [from the UC-Berkeley Page]

The UH Hilo EDXRF Method

Quarry Data

(with sources for samples or permissions):

Big Island:

Kīlauea Archaeological samples quarried from volcanic bombs surrounding Kilauea Caldera; courtesy of Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura, NPS.

Mauna Kea Archaeological samples from 1970s Bishop Museum excavations, now on exhibit at `Imiloa Astronomy Center- See Mills et al. (2008). (NARS)

Pololū Archaeological samples from 1970s UH Manoa surveys; courtesy of Jo Lynn Gunness, Mark Oxley.

Pu`uwa`awa`a Archaeological samples, published in McCoy et. al (2011) Journal of Archaeological Science.

Maui:

Nu'u (archaeological samples, see Kahn et al. 2008)

Haleakala (geological samples from site 2510, courtesy of Melanie Mintmier, Elizabeth Gordon, NPS)

O`ahu:

Waiahole (archaeological samples from UH Mānoa, courtesy of Jo Lynn Gunness, see Cleghorn et al. 1985 A preliminary petrographic study of Hawaiian Stone Adze Quarries. Journal of the Polynesian Society 94(3):235-251).

 

Domestic Assemblages

Kahalu`u Habitation Cave, Kona,Hawaiʻi Island (Mills et al. 2011)

Pu`uhonua o Hōnaunau (Rieth et al. 2013)

Kahikinui, Maui (Kirch et al. 2012)

Nu`alolo Kai, Na Pali Coast, Kaua`i (Mills et al. 2010)

`Opunohu Valley, Mo`orea, Society Islands (Kahn et al. 2013)

 

SAMPLE SUBMISSION

Please Mail samples to the attention of

Peter Mills , Dept of Anthropology, Social Sciences Division, UH Hilo, 200 W. Kawili Street, Hilo, HI 96720

We currently expend over $9000/year to maintain a service contract on the EDXRF spectrometer and must charge fees through a Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi (RCUH) revolving account for outside analyses to help cover these costs. For analyses not related to the current NSF Grant, our standard fee for clean basalt samples is $30/sample, but we regularly negotiate subsidized rates for large submissions and student research. Our philosophy is that it is in everyone's best interest to analyze large numbers of samples rather than to have researchers submit fewer samples due to tight budgets.

UH Hilo Geoarchaeology Publications

Articles:

Charleux, M., McAlister, A., Mills, P.R., and Lundblad, S.P. 2014. Non-destructive XRF Analyses of Fine-grained Basalts from Eiao, Marquesas Islands. Journal of Pacific Archaeology 5(1):75-89.

Lundblad, S.P., P. R. Mills, M. D. McCoy, . G. Kahn, *K. Mulliken and *Dane Kaylor. 2013.  Identification of Volcanic Glass Sources Inferred from Geochemical Analysis of Artifacts on Leeward Hawai‘i Island. In Pacific Archaeology: Documenting the Past 50,000 Years.  Papers from the 2011 Lapita Pacific Archaeology Conference, edited by G. R. Summerhayes and Hallie Buckley. University of Otago Studies in Archaeology  No. 25, Dunedin, NZ.

Rieth, T.M., P.R. Mills, S.P. Lundblad, A.E. Morrison, A. Johnson. 2013 Variation in Lithic Sources utilized by Late Pre-Contact Elites in Kona,Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaiian Archaeology 13:103-130.

Kahn, J.G., J.M. Sinton, P.R. Mills, and S.P. Lundblad. 2013. X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis and Intra-Island Exchange in the Society Island Archipelago (Central Eastern Polynesia). Journal of Archaeological Science 40(2013):1194-1202.

Stevenson, C.M. and P.R. Mills. 2013. A Chronometric Tool for Hawaiian archaeology: the hydration dating of Pu`u Wa`awa`a trachytic glass. Journal of Archaeological Science. 40(2013):405-415.

Kirch, P.V., P.R. Mills, S.P. Lundblad, J. Sinton, J.G. Kahn. 2012. Interpolity exchange of basalt tools facilitated via elite control in Hawaiian archaic states. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(4):1056-1061.

Mintmier, M.A., P.R. Mills, S.P. Lundblad. 2012. Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis of Haleakalā Basalt Adze Quarry Materials, Maui, Hawai‘i, Journal of Archaeological Science 39(3):615-623.

Mills, P.R., S.P. Lundblad, K. Hon, J.J. Moniz-Nakamura, *L.K. Kahahane, *A. Drake-Raue, *T.M. Souza *R. Wei. 2011. Reappraising craft specialization and exchange in pre-contact Hawai‘i through non-destructive sourcing of basalt adze debitage, Journal of Pacific Archaeology 2 (2): 79–92.

McCoy, M.D., P.R. Mills, S.P. Lundblad, T. Rieth, J. G. Kahn, R. Gard. 2011. A Cost Surface Model of Volcanic Glass Quarrying and Exchange in Hawai`i. Journal of Archaeological Science38:2547-2560.

Mills, P.R., S.P. Lundblad, J.S. Field, A.B. Carpenter, W.K. McElroy, *P. Rossi. 2010.Geochemical sourcing of basalt artifacts from Kaua`i, Hawaiian Islands. Journal of Archaeological Science 37:(1):3385-3393.

Lundblad. S.P., P.R. Mills, *A. Drake-Raue, S. K. Kikiloi. 2011. Non-destructive EDXRF analyses of archaeological basalts. In X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry in Geoarchaeology, pp. 65-80, edited by M. Steven Shackley.  Natural Sciences in Archaeology Series.  Springer Press, North America.

Addison, David, Bryon Bass, Carl Christensen, John Kalolo, Steve Lundblad, Peter Mills, Fiona Petchey, Adam Thompson. 2009.  Archaeology of Atafu, Tokelau: some initial results from 2008 Rapa Nui Journal 23(1): 5-9.

Kahn, Jennifer G., Peter Mills, Steve Lundblad, John Holson, Patrick Kirch. 2008. Tool Production at the Nu`u Quarry, Maui, Hawaiian Islands: Manufacturing Sequences and Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Analyses. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology 30:135-165.

Mills, Peter R., Steven P. Lundblad, *Jacob G. Smith, Patrick C. McCoy, *Sean P. Naleimaile. 2008. Science and Sensitivity: A Geochemical Characterization of the Mauna Kea Adze Quarry Complex, Hawaiʻi Island, Hawaii.  American Antiquity 73(4):743-758.

Lundblad, Steven P., Peter R. Mills and Ken Hon. 2008. Analyzing Archaeological Basalt Using Non-destructive Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF):  Effects of Post-depositional Chemical Weathering and Sample Size on Analytical Precision.  Archaeometry 50 (1)1-11.

Mills, Peter R. and Steven P. Lundblad. 2006.  Preliminary Field Report: The Geochemistry of the Ko`oko`olau Complex, Mauna Kea Adze Quarry (50-10-23-4136) TMK:4-4-15:10 PDF Document.  Report prepared for the Hawaiʻi Natural Area Reserves System (NARS) Commission.  University of Hawaii, Hilo.

* = student author

Presentations:

*Bailey, Heather. 2013. EDXRF of basalt artifacts from Pu`u Kehena, Leeward Kohala. 26th Annual Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference, Oct 11-13, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, The Society for Hawaiian Arcaheology, p. 15.

Brandt, Lokelani, Lima, Pulama, Mills, Peter, Lundblad, Steven, and McElroy, Windy, 2012, Lawa Pono `o Halawa, (Halawa is adequately supplied): The ahupua`a model demonstrated through stone tool economies of East Moloka`i, Hawai`i, Abstracts 25th Annual Society for Hawaiian
Archaeology Conference, Kona, Hawaii, The Society for Hawaiian Arcaheology, p. 15.

Lundblad, Steven, Mills, Peter, Kaylor, Dane, and Mulliken, Katherine, 2012, Geochemical analysis of lithic collections from Lana`i Island,Hawaiʻi using EDXRF: Evidence for inter-island exchange of lithic material in Maui County, Hawai`i, Abstracts 25th Annual Society for Hawaiian
Archaeology Conference, Kona, Hawaii, The Society for Hawaiian Arcaheology, p. 20.

Mills, Peter R, and Lundblad, Steven P., 2012, Eight years and counting: A review of the EDXRF geochemical database from the UH Hilo Geoarchaeology Lab, Abstracts 25th Annual Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference, Kona, Hawaii, The Society for Hawaiian Arcaheology, p. 19.

Mulliken, Katherine, Lundblad, Steven P., and Mills, Peter R., 2012, Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis of volcanic glass fromHawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park,Hawaiʻi Island, Abstracts 25th Annual Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference, Kona, Hawaii, The
Society for Hawaiian Arcaheology, p. 20.

Kaylor Dane, Lundblad, Steven, Mills, Peter, Mulliken, Katherine, 2012, Geochemical analysis of lithic collections from Lana`i Island,Hawaiʻi using EDXRF: A model for assessing museum collections in remote locations, Abstracts, 8th International Conference on Easter Island and the Pacific, Living in Changing Island Environments, p. 31.

Lundblad, Steven, Mills, Peter, Kahn, Jennifer, Mulliken, Katherine, and Kaylor, Dane, 2012, EDXRF analysis of H-3 highway project lithics: Implications for settlement patterns and exchange across O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, Abstracts, 8th International Conference on Easter Island and the Pacific, Living in Changing Island Environments, p. 31.

Mills, Peter R., and Lundblad, Steven P., 2012, The power of plenty: Contributions of EDXRF in building regional economic models of lithic procurement in Hawai‘i, Abstracts, 8th International Conference on Easter Island and the Pacific, Living in Changing Island Environments, p. 31.

Katherine Mulliken and Alexis Manning. Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) Analysis of basaltic abraders from Leeward Hawaiʻi Island.  2011 Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference.

U`ilani Macabio. Geochemical Analysis of Ahu a `Umi Basalt and Volcanic Glass. 2010 Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference.

Charles Feeley. The Contribution of Non-Destructive Geochemical analysis to Museum Collections: an example from the Lyman Museum Collections.  2009 Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference.

Tanya Souza. Stone Adzes of the Waimea Plain. 2008 Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference.

Jacob Smith. Geochemistry of the Mauna Kea Adze Quarry Complex, 2008, Geol 494 Seminar.

Rachel Hunt. 2008, Soil Arsenic in Hawaii, Geol 495 Seminar

Mark Oxley. Pre-Contact Basalt Utilization of Pololu Valley, Hawaii: Results of Recent EDXRF Analysis. 2007 Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference.

Sarah Jones, 2007, Evaluation of Honokane Achaeological Artifacts, Geol 495 Seminar

Mark Oxley et al.  Changing Aspects of Basalt Distribution and Agricultural Production in Pololu Valley.  2006 Society for Hawaiian Archaeology Conference.

Jenelle Peacock, 2005, Preliminary analysis of archeologic artifacts from Kahalu`u rockshelter, Kona District, Hawai`i, Geol 495 Seminar

Serena Williamson, 2004, Source Rock Geochemistry using EDXRF, Ka`awali`i Gulch, Hamakua Coast, Geol. 495 Seminar.