The UC Berkeley Roman Material Culture Laboratory (RMCL)



Due to the University of California's campus-wide shelter in place order issued in March, 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic on-site operations at University of California, Berkeley Roman Material Culture Laboratory have been suspended.

As of January, 2021 this order remains in place (

The Roman Material Culture Laboratory will resume on-site operations as soon as it has been lifted.


The RMCL is a dedicated facility located on the UC Berkeley Campus in Dwinelle Hall, Room 310B (top floor/Level G, inside Suite 310).  It is available for use by UC Berkeley faculty and students pursuing research involving Roman material culture. 

The facility contains a work table, storage cabinets, bookshelves, a file cabinet, a map case and a computer table with two desktop computer (PC) work stations.  The two computers are provided with software useful for the study of material culture, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite 6, FileMaker Pro 12, AutoCAD 2012, Harris Matrix Composer, DinoCapture 2.0, ArcView GIS, JMP 5, Pie-Slice, and the set of MURR programs for the analysis of multivariate archaeometric data and are connected to a laser printer and a scanner.  The facility is equipped with two optical microscopes (Meiji ML9300 trinocular polarizing microscope; Meiji trinocular stereo microscope) provided with still and video camera systems, a digital microscope (Dino-Lite AM413T), a Nikon D5100 digital SLR camera,  a Structure Sensor 3-D scanner and an O’Haus CS2000 electronic scale.  It also contains a sizable collection of publications relevant to the study of Roman material culture (with particular emphasis on pottery), manuals for petrographic analysis, a collection of geologic and topographic maps of  Italy, an extensive set of thin sections of Roman pottery and modest study collections of Italian potting clays, Roman pottery and Roman building stone. 

For permission to use the laboratory, interested persons should contact the director (J.T. Peña, Department of Ancient Greek and Roman Studies) by email at

UC Berkeley faculty and staff who are affiliates of the Archaeological Research Facility can also sign out from this unit for use on campus or in the field various items of equipment useful for the study of Roman material culture, including a Brucker Tracer III-SD hand-held XRF spectrometer, a Dino-Lite AD413T digital microscope (with UV and IR photography capabilities) and a Canon 7D digital SLR camera/Canon 600 EX-RT Speedlite flash modified for UV and IR photography.