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The aim of the lab is to provide high-resolution data about the life history of animal populations from archaeological and paleontological assemblages. These include individual demographic parameters (age, sex), individual dietary patterns, territorial mobility, animal husbandry techniques or hunting strategies. They contribute to provide a better knowledge of human paleoecology, subsistence and social behaviour. The laboratory of 90 m2 has two work areas dedicated to fauna microwear and mesowear analysis and to biochemical analysis. The space dedicated to tooth wear is equipped with a stereomicroscope (Zeiss Stemi 2000-C), a reference collection of tooth casts of extant large mammals (2 600 specimens) and a space to store the moulds and casts that were studied from archaeological and paleontological sites (about 10 000 casts). The larger area of the lab is designed as a sample preparation lab for stable isotope and trace element analyses of archaeological and modern specimens, including bones, teeth, shells, plants, hair/fur, and skin. Bioapatite and bone-collagen samples are currently obtained and treated for IRMS and ICP-MS measures. Grinding, drilling and extraction treatment areas are distributed and separated in the lab.
The lab counts with a work team of technicians, research students (Master’s and PhD) and permanent researchers who actively participate in research projects carried out and lead at the IPHES, Universitat Rovira i Virgili and other academic institutions.