Geoarchaeology

Geoarchaeology theme

Geoarchaeology

Geoarchaeology includes a wide range of approaches and techniques used in geology and applied to archaeological sites, to try to answer questions related to the environmental setting of human evolution and past human societies. Geoarchaeological studies provide a better understanding of the formation processes of archaeological sites and allow natural processes that modified past landscapes to be distinguished from human influences. Geoarchaeology includes the study of landforms associated with archaeological sites (geomorphology), the study of sediments and soils in which artefacts are found (sedimentology and pedology), the study of selective preservation of biological remains (taphonomy), and the use of physical techniques to image or map sub-surface structures and layers (geophysics). Application of these tools to archaeological sites enhances our understanding of the dynamic interactions between environmental changes and the evolution of humans and their cultures. Geoarchaeological investigations are often required to interpret the diverse range of evidence collected at archaeological sites, and to assist with appropriate sampling strategies for dating techniques (Archaeochronometry), chemical analyses (Archaeochemistry), or the study of faunal and floral remains (Bioarchaeology) and artefacts (Archaeomaterials).

Geoarchaeology Projects

 

 

Last reviewed: 8 March, 2016