Dr. Sean Rafferty (PI), Dr. Stuart Swiny (not in the picture above) and Dr. Igor Lednev (co-PI) have been awarded an NSF grant of $122,000 for residue analysis of alkaloids in Eastern North America and Bronze Age Mediterranean. The grant will be used to study the use of intoxicants in prehistoric ceramics using Raman microscopy and Mass spectroscopy.
Dr. Rafferty has his Ph.D. from Binghamton University and was hired by the Department of Anthropology in 2002. He is an archaeologist specializing in the prehistory of eastern North America. Specifically he studies prehistoric rituals, especially those involving altered states of consciousness.
Dr. Lednev is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. The research in his laboratory is focused on the development and application of novel laser spectroscopic methods for biological and chemical studies. In particular, a new apparatus based on deep ultraviolet Raman spectroscopy and advanced statistical analysis has been built for structural characterization of protein aggregates associated with numerous debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.
Dr. Swiny was trained in the archaeology of ancient Near East at London University and went on to excavate in Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan before specializing in Cypriot prehistory. Recently his research has focused on the origins of the island's Bronze Age culture and evidence for rituals involving the use of intoxicants.