Dr. Russell Skowronek and Neutron
Activation Analysis

In 2001, Dr. Russell Skowronek visited the lab.  At Santa Clara University, Dr.
Skowronek is conducting a detailed analysis of mission period pottery throughout
California and Mexico. The aim of the study is to determine how much of the pottery
used at the California Missions was manufactured locally and how much was
imported from pottery centers in Mexico.

By subjecting pottery pieces to neutron activation analysis, a list of the trace
elements in the clay is obtained. This chemical "fingerprint" is then used to
determine if the pottery is was locally made, or imported.

Bob Hoover and Russell Skowronek selected 15 pieces of mission pottery and a
sample of mission roof tiles to put to the test. John Parker is shown here taking
photographs of these pieces before they leave the lab. Once completed, Dr.
Skowronek's report will include a section discussing Mission San Luis Obispo and its
pottery industry.
Site maintained as a public service by Archaeological Research, PO Box 1353, Lucerne, CA 95458.
Contact: dr.john@wolfcreekarcheology.com
Visitors to the Lab
History and Prehistory of Lake County
and Beyond
Wu Bowls
Opium Use
Historic Features
Bob Hoover (left) and Russell Skowronek (right) examine Mission ceramics
Dr. Parker photographs mission ceramic pieces
Huell Howser "California's Gold"

In 1998, Huell Howser and his PBS "California's Gold" crew spent two days filming
work at the lab and featured San Luis Obispo's historic Chinese community in one of
his programs.  Mr. Howser poses with the lab crew and inspects a Chinese shopping
jar with Dr. Parker (click photos to enlarge).
Huell Howser and Lab Crew
Huell Howser and Dr. Parker inspect ancient Chinese pots
Cultural Attaché from Republic of China (Taiwan)

Later in 1998, Bruce Linghu (Deputy Director General, Taipei
Economic and Cultural Office) visited the lab and presented
the project with a $2,000 donation from the Government of
the Republic of China on Taiwan.  Pictured with Mr. Linghu
is San Luis Obispo Mayor Allen Settle and Dr. Parker.
Mayor Allen Settle (right), Bruce Linghu (center), Dr. Parker (left)
State Historical Resources Commission

In 2000, the California State Historical Resources
Commission toured the lab and saw the tons of Chinese and
Mission era artifacts being sorted and identified.
Lab tour given to State Historical Resources Commission