Robert J. (Jeff) Speakman

Head of Technical Services


Phone: 301-238-1242
Fax: 301-238-3709
E-mail Address: SpeakmanJ [at]

Museum Conservation Institute
Smithsonian Institution
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746


A.A., Anthropology, Cochise College (1995)
B.A., Anthropology, Northern Arizona University (1996)
M.A., Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia (2002)
Ph.D. University of Missouri, Columbia (In progress)

Research Specialties and Interests

  • Archaeometry and archaeological science
  • Prehistory of the Northern Plains, American Southwest, Alaska and Northeast Asia
  • Contact and acculturation, archaeological method and theory
  • Quantitative research methods
  • New analytical technologies
  • Heavy metals in the environment

Recent Research Activities

Development of portable analytical technologies in support of archaeological science.
Alaskan Archaeological Obsidian Database with NPS and University of Alaska--Fairbanks
Dating Volcanic Eruptions through Stable Isotopic and Elemental Profiles of Tree Rings

Recent Publications

Craig, Nathan, Speakman, Robert Jeff, Popelka-Filcoff, Rachel, Aldenderfer, Mark, Blanco, Luis Flores, Vega, Margaret Brown, Glascock, Michael D. and Stanish, Charles 2010. Macusani obsidian from southern Peru: a characterization of its elemental composition with a demonstration of its ancient use. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37(3): 569-576.

Fusco, Maria and Speakman, Robert Jeff 2010. The Application of X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Spectrometry in the Characterization of Glass Degradation in Beaded African Art. Bead Forum, 52: 1-12.

Brostoff, Lynn B., Maynor, Catherine I. and Speakman, Robert Jeff 2009. Preliminary study of a Georgia O'Keeffe pastel drawing using XRF and mu XRD. Powder Diffraction, 24(2): 116-123.

Descantes, Christophe H., Speakman, Robert Jeff and Glascock, Michael D. 2009. Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis of Ceramics from Five Archaeological Sites in Antigua, West Indies. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, 50(1): 147-155.

Iñañez, Javier, Buxeda i Garrigós, J., Speakman, Robert Jeff and Glascock, Michael D. 2009. Archaeometric Characterization of Renaissance Tin-Lead Glazed Pottery from Talavera de la Reina, Puente del Arzobispo and Seville (Spain). In: Auger, R., Chabot, J. and Herzog, A., Proceedings Actes ISA 2006. Quebec, Canada: Cahiers d’ Archéologie du CELAT, No. 25, Série Archéométrie No. 7, University of Laval, pp.279-287.

Iñañez, Javier, Speakman, Robert Jeff, Buxeda i Garrigós, J. and Glascock, Michael D. 2009. Chemical Characterization of Tin-Lead Glazed Pottery From the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands: Initial Steps Toward a Better Understanding of Spanish Colonial Pottery in the Americas. Archaeometry, 51(4): 546-567.

Lazarri, Marisa, Pereyra-D., L., Scattolin, M. C., Cecil, Leslie, Glascock, Michael D. and Speakman, Robert Jeff 2009. Ancient Social Landscapes of Northwestern Argentina: Preliminary Results of an Integrated Approach to Obsidian and Ceramic Provenance. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(9): 1955-1964.

Lopez-del-Rio, H., Mireles-Garcia, F., Mendez-Cardona, R. Y., Nicolas-Caretta, M., Speakman, Robert Jeff and Glascock, M. D. 2009. Characterization of pottery from Cerro de Las Ventanas, Zacatecas, Mexico. Radiochimica Acta, 97(9): 513-518.

Phillips, S. C. and Speakman, Robert Jeff 2009. Initial source evaluation of archaeological obsidian from the Kuril Islands of the Russian Far East using portable XRF. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(6): 1256-1263.

Pohl, Christie M., Hodgins, Greg, Speakman, Robert Jeff and Beaubien, Harriet F. 2009. The Effect of Cyclododecane on Carbon-14 Dating of Archaeological Materials. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 48(3): 223-233.

Slobodina, Natalia S., Reuther, Joshua D., Rasic, Jeffrey T., Cook, John P. and Speakman, Robert Jeff 2009. Obsidian Procurement and Use at the Dry Creek Site (HEA-005), Interior Alaska. Current Research in the Pleistocene, 26: 125-127.

Tsang, Jia-sun, Madden, Odile, Coughlin, Mary, Maiorana, Anthony, Watson, Judy, Little, Nicole C. and Speakman, Robert Jeff 2009. Degradation of 'Lumarith' Cellulose Acetate Exasmination and Chemical Analysis of a Salesman's Sample Kit. Studies in Conservation, 54(2): 90-105.