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Anthropology and Museum Studies

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Dean Hall 357A
Phone: (509) 963-3201

Zooarchaeology Laboratory

The Central Washington University Zooarchaeology Laboratory, housed in Dean Hall on the Ellensburg campus, is intended to provide comparative osteological materials for archaeological, biological, and forensic purposes. The target community for using the facility is CWU faculty and students, but we welcome use by other qualified individuals engaged in appropriate research. 

The Lab includes a comparative osteology collection housed in an Analysis Lab (Dean 222), and a Rendering Lab (Dean 223). The Analysis Lab is a ~300 square foot room with the comparative collection and 54 square feet of analysis table space. The Rendering Lab is a small (~200 square foot) room with chemical fume hood, range top with fume hood, garbage disposal, freezer, various cookers, electronic scales, and stainless steel table space. There is no dermestid beetle colony. 

Zooarchaeology Analysis Lab


Rendering Lab

The comparative osteology collection includes over 600 labeled, disarticulated skeletons, mostly complete. Here is a list of specimens in the CWU zooarchaeology collection. The collection is strongest in western North American mammals and North Pacific fishes, with fewer birds, reptiles, and amphibians from western North America. The collection was obtained mostly from Washington, Alaska, and Wyoming. Like all smaller collections, there are significant gaps in species coverage and also individual variation within a species. More comprehensive collections are located at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington in Seattle, about two hours by car.

Part of comparative collection

CWU students may gain initial laboratory experience with skeletal rendering and collections management each quarter as Laboratory Assistants. This involves working in the lab about 30 hours in a quarter for one independent study credit. Students can apply each quarter by submitting the application form as hard copy to Dr. Lubinski’s office drop box (Dean 338) during the first week of each quarter. The application deadline is 9 AM of the day before the end of the Add-Drop period, typically the first Friday of the quarter. 

Student identifying bone


Student rendering

Individuals interested in research access to the lab, details about the comparative collection, or other information should contact laboratory director Dr. Patrick Lubinski at


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