Facilities

Archaeology research and teaching facilities at the University of Helsinki focus on archaeological fieldwork and analysis of archaeological data and materials. Our laboratory and fieldwork equipment allow examination of versatile archaeological materials, sites and research topics. We also have reference collections of archaeological artefacts and other materials, such as osteoarchaeological and archaeobotanical collections, for teaching and research purposes. Currently, our laboratory facilities are based in Unioninkatu 38 premises, but we are in the process of moving the lab to Unioninkatu 35. Many of our researchers also utilize laboratory facilities available at the UH Viikki and Kumpula campuses. The UH archaeological research facilities are available for UH affiliated researchers, students and research projects, archaeology people having priority access. 

The University of Helsinki Archaeological Laboratory provides facilities for processing and analysis of archaeological finds, materials and artefacts, such as ceramics, lithics, metals, soils, plants, seeds, and human and animal bone and tissue. We have facilities for examination, processing and storing of organic and inorganic archaeological materials, and various tools for sample cleaning and preparation, e.g. wet and dry sieving of sediment samples, and cutting, drilling, milling and resin-mounting of samples.  

Our analytical instruments include optical microscopes for examination and image analysis of artefacts, fibres, teeth, seeds and other small-sized materials. We also own a portable Dino-lite microscope that can be used in the field and museums. Our laboratory-based instruments also include precision scales, fume hoods, phosphate analysis equipment, furnaces, a centrifuge and a planetary mill for sample homogenization, among other equipment. 

We have a newly refurbished EDXRF-suite with a bench-top Rigaku NEX DE VS -spectrometer suitable for chemical characterization of various inorganic materials in solid, powder and liquid forms, used for destructive and non-destructive analysis of a wide range of archaeological materials, e.g. artefacts and sediment samples. We also own a hand-held portable XRF instrument (Bruker S1 Titan) available for compositional data acquisition in museums and in the field in Finland and abroad, equipped with calibrations suitable for lithics, ceramics, metals, sediments, plasters etc. 

For ArchLab inquiries, contact Archaeology laboratory coordinator, Dr. Elisabeth Holmqvist-Sipilä at elisabeth.holmqvist@helsinki.fi 

Our DigiLab is a facility that enables our students to learn and apply different computer-based research methods in archaeology. DigiLab also offers a possibility for our researchers to utilize different software in their research. 

We run PC workstations with two A3 digitizing tablet and A3 scanner and color printer. The computers are provided with programs available at the University of Helsinki’s software center, including GIS programs like ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Professional and MapInfo Professional. We also have local installations of Adobe Creative Suite and Agisoft Metashape Professional.  

Our digital facilities also include Artec Leo 3D scanner and Artec Professional 15 software. An Original Prusa I3 3D printer enables our students and staff to print 3D visualizations of different archaeological items. Our photography equipment is suitable for documenting and analyzing finds and other archaeological materials. 

DigiLab is open for our researchers and students. For DigiLab equipment inquiries, contact university instructor tuuli.t.heinonen@helsinki.fi 

Fieldwork is a central part of our research and teaching. Different fieldwork methods and surveying techniques are taught starting from the BA level, and we have a variety of fieldwork equipment available for our staff and students to use in their own projects. 

Our equipment includes Nikon DSLR cameras, Trimble S7 total station, Trimble R10 RTK GPS receiver, Trimble TSC7 Controller for surveying equipment, geophysical equipment (GPR, Magnetometer, Resistance Meter, Slingram), drone for aerial photography, laser scanner, fieldwork laptops and facilities for post-excavation work.  

For fieldwork equipment inquiries, contact university instructor tuuli.t.heinonen@helsinki.fi