Skip to content

The Environmental Archaeology Lab

The Environmental Archaeological Lab, MAL, is a national resource that engages in concultancy, research and development in environmental archeology. The laboratory acts as a national research infrastructure in environmental archeology and conducts environmental archaeological research and analysis on behalf of companies and organizations across the Nordic region.

How was waste disposed of in prehistory? What kind of landscape did the rock carving artists of Northern Sweden look at when they had a break? How can we date an ancient field with the help of methods from the natural sciences? Why did the Vikings place seeds and roots in their graves?

These are just a few of the question which have been posed to the Environmental Archaeology lab, and which can be answered through the application of a variety of analysis methods applied in a well-established research environment. MAL (the initials based on the Swedish name of the lab: Miljöarkeologiska laboratoriet) has built up an interdisciplinary capacity in terms of staff and infrastructure, to be able to respond to the needs of archaeological research, consultancy and the teaching of environmental archaeology.

The lab is also an active research and development unit, working towards the improvement of existing, and development of new, methods for interrogating and understanding the past.

The Department of Archaeology was founded in 1975 with a close connection to researchers in ecology and the natural sciences. As a consequence of these links and interests, the Environmental Archaeology Lab was created in 1993, and has since acted as a national resource for envronmental archaeology. MAL is now part of the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, with facilities located in the Humanities Building on Umeå University's main campus.


Send samples to MAL

Do you want to send us samples or discuss a project? Please contact us well in advance of any excavation to ensure that we can schedule your contract to fit in with our on-going commitments.

When sending samples please fill in the sample information template and send it to (Note that not doing so may incur a delay in the reporting of results and interpretations).

MAL sample submission form (in Swedish)

Contact us

MAL's core staff are listed below. Guest lecturers, PhD students and trainees are also present in the environment along with temporary staff during heavy workloads.


Personalbild Philip Buckland Philip Buckland Senior lecturer (associate professor)
Personalbild Johan Linderholm Johan Linderholm Senior lecturer (associate professor)

Övrig personal

Roger Engelmark Professor emeritus
Personalbild Ivanka Hristova Ivanka Hristova Researcher, senior research assistant
Personalbild Claudia Sciuto Claudia Sciuto Postgraduate student
Personalbild Mattias Sjölander Mattias Sjölander Project assistant, postgraduate student
Personalbild Karin Viklund Karin Viklund Professor emerita