LSU Physicist Applies New Technology to Analyze Ancient Artifacts

BATON ROUGE – Poverty Point in northeastern Louisiana is deemed one of North America’s most important archeological sites. It is a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, much remains to be learned about this important archaeological site. This month, an LSU researcher will conduct advanced chemical analyses and imaging of archeological samples from Poverty Point to better understand where the artifacts originated from and how they were used.

LSU Professor Josef Hormes will conduct this cutting-edge research on samples of prehistoric artifacts from Poverty Point at the LSU J. Bennett Johnston, Sr., Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, or CAMD, with support from the National Park Service.

According to the National Park Service, Poverty Point may have been a major trading post within a network that spread across the continent over hundreds of miles. The area consists of a complex array of earthen mounds and ridges overlooking the Mississippi River flood plain. Artifacts dating between 1700 and 1100 B.C. made from raw materials originating from as far away as the Ozark Mountains in Ohio and Tennessee to the Appalachian foothills in northern Alabama and Georgia have been discovered at the site.

In addition to his research, Hormes will also lead a two-day workshop for archeology undergraduate and graduate students on the application of synchrotron radiation-based spectroscopic and imaging techniques for the characterization of archaeological artifacts. The workshop will be held at CAMD on March 26-27 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Applicants are encouraged to send a short CV, the archeological questions or objects of interest and if financial support is required to Josef Hormes, LSU-CAMD, 6980 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, La., 70806 or via email: Applications are due by March 12.


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LSU J. Bennett Johnston, Sr., Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices:




Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations