A Handbook of Geoarchaeological Approaches to Settlement Sites and Landscapes [Paperback]

Charles French (Author)

ISBN: 9781785700910 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Studying Scientific Archaeology | Volume: 1 | Year of Publication: 2015 | Language: English 144p, H210 x W149 (mm)

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A Handbook of Geoarchaeological Approaches to Settlement Sites and Landscapes


Geoarchaeology is a major branch of archaeological science at the interfaces between geology, geography and archaeology, involving the combined study of archaeological, soil and geomorphological records and the recognition of how natural, climatic and human-induced processes alter landscapes. The formation and modification of past soils, and occupation sequences can be examined primarily through the use of soil micromorphological techniques and various physical and geo-chemical techniques.

This short text aims to explain some of the basics of geoarchaeological approaches and research design used to tackle the investigation of landscapes and settlement archaeology, and the application of soil micromorphology to archaeological situations. The intention is to present a basic handbook of good practice, with case studies and examples, that any archaeologist or aspiring geoarchaeologist can use.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Approaches to investigating landscapes
 Theoretical and methodological considerations
Factors affecting archaeological recovery and environmental evidence
Formulating research designs
Investigating wetland landscapes
Investigating dryland systems
Investigating temperate landscapes
3. Examples of fieldwork strategies and sampling applications for investigating landscapes
 The lower Welland valley and Cambridgeshire fen-edge, eastern England
 The chalk downlands of Cranborne Chases and Wessex, southern England
 The central Rio Puerco valley, New Mexico
 The Rio Ica valley, Peru
 The prehistoric landscape of Herm island
4. Approaches to investigating settlement sites
 Sampling strategies and techniques
5. Examples of fieldwork strategies and sampling applications for investigating settlements
Saar, Bahrain
Kaupang, Norway
Crossiecrown, Orkney
6. Integration: Sampling and method combinations
7. Conclusions
Appendix 1: Bulk sample methodologies
Appendix 2: Sampling for soil/sediment micromorphological analysis
Appendix 3: A brief guide to making soil/sediment thin sections: from the field to finished slide using the Brot grinding system, with Tonko Rajkovača
Essential texts
Glossary of terms

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