Welcome to the Faunal Analysis Laboratory


The Faunal Analysis Laboratory primarily focuses on the analysis and interpretation of zooarchaeological materials from archaeological sites and taphonomic assemblages or actualistic experiments. The Lab has a robust comparative collection of North American mammals and taphonomic signatures, such as carnivore modification, rodent gnawing, and butchery.

Undergraduate students volunteer in the Lab, while graduate students execute thesis research. Dr. Burke also conducts zooarchaeological research in the Lab including the analysis of animal remains from sites in the Belize Valley, the pathology and characteristics of prehistoric domesticated dog burials in the American Southwest, the taphonomic processes of carnivore modification in large mammal kills, and the importance of carnivore conservation in the Western United States.

The Lab also stores human skeletal cast replicas and early human and primate cast replicas.

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Burke is a registered professional archaeologist; her current research seeks to understand the relationship between humans and other animals in the past.

Get Involved!

Volunteering opportunities to help with research or maintaining lab collections typically become available at the beginning of the semester. For more information email Dr. Burke.


Research takes place both at NAU in the Bilby Research Center (Room 163) and at the Museum of Northern Arizona.


Student participation is normally offered on a year-round basis.




The Faunal Analysis Laboratory works closely with the Museum of Northern Arizona collections department for access to faunal assemblages for research.

The Faunal Analysis Laboratory also works in conjunction with the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project.