Dana Drake Rosenstein

Dana Drake Rosenstein

PhD Candidate

Emil W. Haury Building, Room 411

About Dana Drake Rosenstein

I am a PhD Candidate in Archaeology. My research interests are archaeological science and analytical techniques, chronometry, technology of ceramic and metal production and science education. I received my BA in Anthropology with a Minor in Geology from the George Washington University, Washington, DC, and my MSc in Archaeology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. For my PhD dissertation, I am dating archaeological sites in South Africa occupied over the last 500 years using luminescence methods. I have consulted on archaeometric projects in the Southwest US, Italy, South Africa, Botswana, Sudan and Nigeria, and currently I am a collaborator on a project dating Atlantic trade era sites in southeastern Senegal.

Areas of Study

Sub-Saharan Africa, especially South Africa

East Africa, especially Sudan


2012-present    Early iron production in Sudan

Collaborator with Thilo Rehren, PI (University College London – Qatar), Jane Humphries (University College London – Qatar) and Pawel Wolf (DAI: German Archaeological Institute)

Coordinate sampling and measurement of optically stimulated luminescence, thermoluminescence and AMS radiocarbon dating samples for metallurgical contexts at the sites of Meroe and Hamadab.


2012-present    Mineralogical and technological variations in the Oyo Ceramic Complex at Ede-Ile (Nigeria)

Collaborator with Akinwumi Ogundiran, PI (University of North Carolina – Charlotte)

Petrographic analysis of ceramics from sites associated with the Oyo Empire, 17th century.


2010-present    Archaeological chronology development and the Old Wood problem on the Northern Colorado Plateau 

Ronald Towner and Jeffrey Dean, PIs (University of Arizona; NSF Grant 1026422) 

Field assistant and graduate research assistant for radiocarbon dating.


2008-present    Collaborator in the African Origins Platform: Five Hundred Years Research Initiative (FYI)

University of Arizona, University of the Witswatersrand (South Africa) and University of Cape Town (South Africa); laboratory analyses undertaken at University of Washington (luminescence dating) and prepared for Illinois State Museum (archaeomagnetic dating)

A multi-disciplinary study of the last 500 years to better understand the emergence of modern cultures and identities in southern Africa.  Developing a regional site chronology using luminescence. Pairing luminescence samples with archaeomagnetic samples as a pilot project on developing an archaeomagnetic curve of secular variation for the region.


2006-2011    Precolonial Botswana social formations: optical petrography of pottery and clays linking peoples, pots, and places 

Collaborator with Edwin Wilmsen, PI (University of Texas – Austin; Wenner-Gren awardee) and David Killick (University of Arizona)

Petrographic, scanning electron microscopic (SEM/EDS) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyses on clays, ceramics and metal artifacts from 8th-13thcentury archaeological contexts and historical contexts in Botswana.


2006-2009    Tin and Bronze Production in the Iron Age of Southern Africa

Collaborator with James Feathers (University of Washington), David Killick, PI (University of Arizona; NSF Grant 0542135) Simon Hall (University of Cape Town), and Shadreck Chirikure (University of Cape Town)

Excavation and sample collection for archaeomagnetic and optically stimulated luminescence dating at Smelterskop, a Late Iron Age tin mining locality in South Africa, 16th-19th century.


2005-2006    Archaeomagnetic dating of the Late Iron Age, South Africa 

Principal investigator with Stacey Lengyel (now Illinois State Museum) and Simon Hall (University of Cape Town)

A pilot study to test the possibility that archaeomagnetism can used to date Late Iron Age sites in southern Africa occupied during periods of the radiocarbon calibration curve subject to acute De Vries effects of the 17th-19th centuries. 


2004-present    Characterization of temper minerals in South African ceramics

Principle Investigator with Duncan Miller (University of Cape Town), Simon Hall (University of Cape Town) and Robert T. Downs (University of Arizona)

Petrographic, scanning electron microscopic, electron microprobe and Raman spectroscopic analyses on temper minerals in ceramic artifacts from Late Iron Age BaTswana urban sites, 18th-19th century.


2004    Chinese Porcelain Project

Principal investigator with Jane Klose (University of Cape Town)

A petrographic and SEM/EDS analysis of Chinese export porcelain to compare soft- and hard-paste porcelain clay bodies and the chemical signature of ocean water on porcelains excavated from marine shipwrecks, 17th-18th century.


2004    Oudepost Ceramic Provenance Project 

Principal investigator with Carmel Shrire (Rutgers University)

  Petrographic analysis of ceramic thin sections to differentiate local from imported pottery at the Oudepost historical archaeological site, South Africa, 18th century.


2003-2004    Optically stimulated luminescence dating of the Late Iron Age, South Africa 

Collaborator with Zenobia Jacobs (now University of Wollongong) and Quaternary Dating Research Unit, CSIR, South Africa  

Optically stimulated luminescence dating analysis of samples from archaeological middens and copper smelting furnaces at Late Iron Age BaTswana urban sites, 18th-19th century.


2003    University of Cape Town field school at Marothodi, South Africa

Postgraduate field assistant (Simon Hall, PI).  Excavation at Marothodi, a Late Iron Age urban complex as part of Master of Science degree research, 18th-19th century.


Research Interests

Archaeological science, technology of ceramic and metal production, chronometry, ethnoarchaeology, science education