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Betty Adams

Betty Adams

Areas of interest

  • Cosmetic adornment
  • Non-destructive residue analysis
  • Iron Age Jordan

Research projects

Cultural Continuity of ancient cosmetic residue analysis and anthropological implications of cosmetic adornment in the ancient Near East. 

Our research focuses on the residue analyses of cosmetic artefacts from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Southern Levant, utilizing GCMS, pXRF, SEM-EDS and FTIR methodologies. Over the last century cosmetic artefacts such as kohl pots, palettes, mortars, and shells have been investigated morphologically and comparatively from individual excavation sites. This research aims to look holistically at cosmetic residue from a wide variety of sites, using numerous collections to link cosmetic adornment practises chemically and geographically and the transfer of cosmetic technology in the ancient Near East. Artifacts are from a variety of sites and time periods. The extraction protocols developed are utilized in museums, the field and university labs. 


Professor Roger Matthews (University of Reading)

Dr John McKendrick (University of Reading)


I obtained my BA in Communications from Washington State University (USA) and my MA in Near Eastern Archaeology from La Sierra University (USA). My MA thesis focused on applying solvent extraction techniques to a collection of limestone and basalt cosmetic palettes from Tall al-Úmayri in Jordan. Upon completion of my MA, I continued to work as a research associate with the Center for Near Eastern Archaeology at La Sierra University and received an ACOR Fellowship to continue research on cosmetic limestone palettes in Jordan. Washington State University supplied support through the Gang Biological Institute and the Tushingham Ancient Residue Lab to continue experimentation with extraction protocols. Currently I serve as lab manager with the Baluá Regional Archaeology Project (BRAP) in Jordan. When not working in the Near East, I excavate with volunteers and students at the Coyote Canyon Mammoth site in Washington State.  


Betty's Academia Page


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