CMRAE materials research pioneers in two broad areas: ancient environments and ecologies, including site formation and palaeodiets; and material culture, or artifact analysis.
Archaeological materials research is carried out by graduate and undergraduate students and by faculty and staff at all the CMRAE consortium institutions. The strength and vitality of the Center stem from the uncommon concentration of these lively research groups at CMRAE university and museum laboratories. These individuals, laboratories, and collections comprise a network of research resources unique to the archaeological community in this country.
There is little overlap or redundancy in the specialties and facilities that have developed among CMRAE institutions, contributing to the true complementarity of resources and breadth of state-of-the-art research facilities. In general, all these laboratories are available to CMRAE faculty and graduate students. Some charge user fees, others are accessible by appointment.
The Center's mandate is to facilitate and maintain an open architecture research environment. Thus a graduate student matriculated at one university can work with one or more faculty members at any of the other member institutions. There is overall freedom of access for students to the Center's intellectual and laboratory resources, and it is the students who form bonds among the faculty.