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Geoarchaeological and Paleoenvironmental Services Center


The Geoarchaeological and Paleoenvironmental Services Center (GPSC) is a multi-disciplinary UT Core Facility established to meet the growing needs of academic, governmental, and industry users in soil, sediment, and microartifact/ecofact analyses.

The GPSC is housed within the University of Tennessee’s Archaeological Research Laboratory (ARL). An APHIS inspected facility authorized to receive foreign and domestic soil, the GPSC is able to receive and analyze samples from around the world.

Howard Cyr, Geoarchaeologist/Senior Archaeologist at the ARL, serves as the Director of the GPSC. For more information, please contact Howard Cyr at 865-974-9645 or

Laboratory services include:

  • Particle Size Distribution
    • Malvern Mastersizer 3000 Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer
    • Hydrometer Analysis (ASTM D 422)
    • Nested Sieve Analysis (wet or dry) (ASTM D 422)
  • Particle Size Analysis Sample Pretreatment
    • Removal of Organic Matter (Particle Size Analysis prep)
    • Removal of Inorganic Carbon (Particle Size Analysis prep)
  • Organic Matter Concentration – Loss on Ignition technique
  • Inorganic Carbon Concentration
    • Loss on Ignition technique
    • Acetic Acid technique
  • pH and Electrical Conductivity
  • Soil Geochemistry
    • Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES)
    • Hatch DR/850 Series Portable Colorimeter
  • Soil Extraction for Geochemical Analysis
    • Partial/Available Acid Extraction (Mehlich 1 and 3)
    • Near Total Extraction (Chang Method)
  • Magnetic Susceptibility (Bartington MS3 Meter w/ MS2E Sensor)
  • Sediment and Soil Core Stratigraphic Analysis
  • Micromorphologic/Microstratigraphic Thin Section Analysis (Nikon Labophot-POL)
  • Microartifact Analysis
  • Archaeological Sample Flotation (for the recovery of paleoethnobotanical, microartifact, and radiocarbon samples

Service Fee Structure

The GPSC offers three separate fee structures based on client:

  • Internal Academic Service Fee for UT students, faculty, and staff
  • External Academic Service Fee for academic institutions outside of the UT system
  • Private Industry Service Fee for non-academic institutions and companies

For Internal Academic Service Costs, click here.

For External Academic Service Costs, click here.

For Private Industry Service Costs, click here.


The GPSC Core Facility is located at the Archaeological Research Laboratory in University of Tennessee’s Middlebrook Building (5723 Middlebrook Pike)

Contact Information

Please direct any questions regarding GPSC services, service costs, requests for training, or scheduling to:

Howard Cyr

Archaeological Research Laboratory
Geoarchaeological and Palaeoenvironmental Services Center
5723 Middlbrook Pike, Room 237
Knoxville, TN 37921

Phone: 865-974-9645

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