The Environmental Archaeological Lab, MAL, is a national resource that engages in consultancy, research and development in environmental archaeology. The laboratory acts as a national research infrastructure in environmental archaeology 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 environmental 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.
If you wish to send samples to the laboratory for analysis, please visit our consultancy page below.
We have a broad knowledge base and can offer a range of analyses related to archaeology and natural sciences.
Learn more about our methods, projects, research infrastructure and publications.
The Environmental Archaeology Laboratory is a national research infrastructure for environmental archaeology.