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To advance our understanding of prehistoric and non-industrial societies through analysis of the structure and properties of materials associated with human activity.

Drawing upon the latest analytical methods in biological, chemical, geological, physical, and materials science, CMRAE's aim is to enrich our knowledge of past and present day non-industrial societies by making the natural and engineering sciences part of our investigative tool kit.

A central premise underlying the CMRAE mission is that scientific study of the materials technologies associated with human activity, when carried out within the framework of the human sciences, provides a more integrated realization of the physical, social, cultural, and ideological world in which we function. Through this understanding we may not only reconstruct more fully the role of materials in shaping the archaeological past, we may also come to recognize how the evolving uses of materials have affected society in the present.