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Micromorphology (Other Keyword)

1-25 (32 Records)

Beyond a Record of Environmental Change: The Influence of Variability in Peat Composition on the Archaeological Record in Viking Age Iceland (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Alicia Sawyer.

Research suggests non-woody resources, such as peat, can serve as unique repositories of environmental change. This paper discusses how peat serves such a role, and sheds light on the how these processes affect the archaeological record, an aspect of environmental change that has been overlooked. During the colonization of Iceland in the 9th century AD, early Icelanders (Vikings) began to affect and be affected by local environments. Viking colonization led to rapid deforestation of woodland...

Determining Construction Materials and Soil Formation Processes at a Burial Mound in Northwest Mexico Using Soil Micromorphology (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Rachel Cajigas. James Watson.

El Cementerio [SON P:10:8] is a late Ceramic period (cal. A.D. 943-1481) burial mound in Central Sonora, Mexico. The mound was constructed within the floodplain about 300 meters from the eastern bank of the Rio Yaqui. Micromorphology analysis (the microscopic analysis of undisturbed soils and sediments) was conducted in order to characterize the nature of the soils and sediments used to construct the mound. Samples were collected in situ from excavation units across the mound, with their...

Employing micromorphology at the Tlajinga district in Teotihuacan to investigate site formation processes and household activities (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Mareike Stahlschmidt. David M Carballo.

Recent excavations of the PATT (Proyecto Arqueológico Tlajinga, Teotihuacan) have explored two residential zones and the southern extension of the Street of the Dead in the Tlajinga district, located in the southern periphery of Teotihuacan. Excavations at the residential zones are directed at investigating neighborhood dynamics including social organization, craft specialization and domestic ritual. Excavation at the Street of the Dead are directed at evaluating the processes of urbanization at...

Fire, Clay, and Microscopes: Micromorphology at the Little Bay Plantation Site in Montserrat, W.I. (2013)

Citation DOCUMENT Jade W Luiz.

Since the 1980’s the use of micromorphology in archaeology has grown and developed into an important tool for the analysis and interpretation of archaeological sites. Despite the increase in the use of micromorphology across the various sub-disciplines of archaeology, historical archaeologists have only just begun adopting these methods in their analyses. Micromorphology, the microanalysis of sediments and soils, can lend important information to the formation of, and activity within, historical...

Fireplace Variability in the Aurignacian: a Multiscale Analysis at the Open-air Campsite of Régismont-le-Haut (Hérault, France) (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Mathieu Lejay. Farid Sellami. Marie Alexis. Romain Mensan. François Bon.

Through the study of several contemporary fireplaces at the Aurignacian open-air site of Régismont-le-Haut we will distinguish differences in the function and operation of a common-place form of archaeological vestige. To achieve this goal we rely on multiscale examination of hearths, which consists of classic planimetric and stratigraphic observation coupled with both micromorphological and geochemical analyses. Results are also compared with experimental hearths analyzed using the same...

From Kebara to KwaZulu-Natal: Integrating Micromorphology and Mineralogical Analyses in the Study of Diagenesis in Combustion Features (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Susan Mentzer. Christopher Miller.

Since the 1990’s, Paul Goldberg’s micromorphological analyses at Kebara and Hayonim Caves (Israel) as well as his collaborative efforts to understand chemical diagenesis in caves have served as benchmarks for the high-resolution study of Paleolithic combustion features. This paper highlights the results of micromorphology, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy and microscopic x-ray diffraction measurements, which were employed together order to understand different diagenetic...

From Microstratigraphy to Ritual Behavior: the study of Earthen Monuments in Eastern North America. (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Sarah Sherwood. Tristram R. Kidder.

Traditionally the study of prehistoric earthen monuments has focused on their staged surfaces and the buildings and artifacts recovered there. Mound construction was simplified to volume, and the type of labor and oversight necessary to move basket loads of dirt. With rigorous attention to stratigraphy, there is a new interest and awareness of these earthen monuments as complex constructions. Selection, preparation, placement and maintenance of earthen materials allowed the establishment of...

A Geoarchaeological Approach to Site Formation and Structures of Inter-zonal Paleoindian Sites in Southern Peru (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Sarah Meinekat. Christopher Miller. Kurt Rademaker.

A key question in the settlement of the Americas is how early forager groups adapted to different ecological settings while maintaining social connections. Quebrada Jaguay (QJ-280) on the Pacific Coast and Cuncaicha Rockshelter in the Andean highlands of southern Peru, exhibit very different subsistence adaptations, yet these sites were linked within a common settlement system in the Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene. Here, we present the results of multidisciplinary geoarchaeological...

Geoarchaeological assessment of long-term site- and field-management characteristics at the pre-Aksumite site of Mezber, Tigrai Plateau. (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Paul Adderley. Mitchell Power. Valery Terwilliger.

The ancient polities of the Tigrai Plateau and this region’s pronounced climatic variations combine to create a research paradigm where social-environmental interactions can be considered over the long-term. Existing regional-scale indicators suggest that human responses to climate variability differed between peoples, polities and time-periods. Framed by an ongoing regional study designed to examine high-resolution climate and environmental markers at a broad-spatial scale, the study of the...

A Geoarchaeological Investigation of Ancient Agricultural Fields at Sanyangzhuang Site, Henan Province, China (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Zhen Qin.

Over the last 10,000 years, agriculture has gradually replaced hunting and gathering, and become the dominant food resource. Because of their extreme importance agricultural issues have attracted much academic attention; a wide variety of new perspectives and understandings, especially concerning agricultural origins, have been gained in the past few decades. However, there is a huge intellectual gap between the extensive agriculture soon after the earliest domestication and intensive...

Geoarchaeology of the Bear Creek Paleoindian Site, King County, Washington: The Stratigraphic Framework (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Charles Hodges. Brandy Rinck.

The Bear Creek site (45KI839) in Redmond, Washington, has yielded important information about Native American settlement, subsistence, and technology in the Puget Lowlands during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition (LPH). The depositional sequence within the site represents a well-preserved stratigraphic and archaeological record extending from the postglacial and early Holocene, and is characterized by several clearly expressed shifts in depositional environments. The high amount of...

Insights into site formation processes at La-Roche-à-Pierrot, Saint Césaire (Charente-Maritime, France): A microstratigraphic perspective (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Carolina Mallol. François Bachellerie. Eugene Morin. Brad Gravina. Isabelle Crèvecoeur.

The extinction of the Neanderthals remains an open question and the current chronological, archaeological and paleoclimatic evidence reflects complex scenarios. In this context, southwestern Europe is an interesting region because as it represents not only a "dead end" for the east-to-west migration of anatomically modern humans but may have acted as a potential 'refugium' for local Neanderthal populations. Several sites in the region play a key role in ongoing debates concerning the...

Interpretation of Midden Formation Processes at Three Farms in Skagafjörður, Northern Iceland using Thin Section Micromorphology and pXRF Chemostratigraphy (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Alicia Sawyer. Justin Holcomb.

Skagafjörður, northern Iceland is a fertile valley bottom where farms established during the Landnám in the late 9th century are still occupied today. In this study, we examin middens from three farms: Reynistaður, Syðra-Skördugil, and Stóra Seyla. The middens show deposition from the Landnám through the Medieval Period. This research answers four questions: What is the sediment composition of the midden fill? What are the main modes of deposition? How do these deposits contribute to the...

Investigating site formation processes in Blombos Cave, South-Africa – a geoarchaeological and micro-contextual approach. (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Magnus Haaland. Christopher Miller. Christopher Henshilwood.

Archaeological material, for example engraved ochre and bone, shell beads, bone tools, and bifacial points recovered from the Middle Stone Age levels (c. 101–70 ka BP) at Blombos Cave (BBC), South Africa, is central to our current understanding of the technological and cultural development of early modern humans in southern Africa during the Late Pleistocene. While these artefacts have attracted much attention for their behavioral implications, the sedimentary context in which they were...

It’s all about scale—thoughts on Paul Goldberg’s contributions to geoarchaeology (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Christopher Miller. Susan Mentzer.

Geoarchaeologists, like their colleagues in the geosciences and archaeology, are required to understand the archaeological record at a variety of scales: from the sub-microscopic to the continental. We track human behavioral change across millions of years and geographic expansions across continents. Yet, our data come from archaeological sites, individual layers, and single artifacts. As archaeologists who investigate past human interactions with various geosystems, we are required not only...

Micromorphological Analysis of Thin Sections from Bear Creek (45KI839), Redmond, King County, Washington (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Brandy Rinck.

Micromorphology samples were collected during data recovery at the Bear Creek Site (45KI839) in Redmond, Washington in order to supplement the site’s formation history. Micromorphological analysis of these samples has shed light on the taphonomic and sedimentary depositional processes at work prior to, during, and after Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition (LPH) occupation of 45KI839. This poster presents the micromorphology research design, sampling and analysis methodology, and results of...

Micromorphological Studies from the Clear Lake Basin California (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Roger Werner. Val Dufeu.

Geoarchaeology has a wide range of applications for the understanding of the past. Within geoarchaeology, since the 1980s, micromorphological analysis has become a more common worldwide research tool for the study of soils from archaeological sites because it can play an important role in understanding site formation through the research of human waste, occupation debris, fuel residues and animal waste. It can serve as an aid in the reconstruction of human occupation, help identify economic...

Micromorphological study of concotto surfaces protected by the Avellino Eruption in 3,780 BP at the Afragola village in Southern Italy (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Tiziana Matarazzo.

The term concotto refers to fragments or patches of hard heated clay that derive from living surfaces, walls and ovens. Concotto fragments are found throughout the Italian peninsula and date from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. Current studies express contradictory opinions about whether or not the concottos found on living surfaces represent intentionally constructed surfaces or the secondary products of the contact between hot embers and sediments. This study uses micromorphological analysis...

Micromorphology and isotopic geochemistry of the Yangguanzhai moat deposit (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Mathew Fox. Jennifer Kielhofer. Ye Wa.

Geoarchaeological research conducted at the Yangguanzhai Site was tasked with identifying the composition and formation processes associated with one of the most striking features of the site, the Yangguanzhai "moat." Originally, it was hypothesized that this moat was filled with thick packages of ash related to the manufacturing of pottery at the site. Therefore, micromorphology and isotopic geochemistry were employed to further examine moat sediments. Samples collected from the moat have δ13C...

Micromorphology and Site Formation Processes at Xianrendong Cave (South China): A Preliminary Analysis of the Late Upper Palaeolithic Layers. (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Ilaria Patania. Paul Goldberg. Xiaohong Wu. Chi Zhang. Ofer Bar-Yosef.

Xianrendong (Jiangxi Province) is one of only two Upper Palaeolithic sites in South China that have been systematically sampled for radiocarbon dating coupled with micromorphological analysis. The cave produced the earliest known pottery sherds (20,000 cal BP), together with a typical cobble tool industry. We present a micromorphological analysis of the formation processes of the Xianrendong deposits, investigating both the stratigraphic integrity of the pottery-containing contexts and the...

Micromorphology of Dust Cave Sediments: Some Preliminary Results (1994)

Citation DOCUMENT Paul S. Goldberg. Sarah C. Sherwood.

This resource is a citation record only, the Center for Digital Antiquity does not have a copy of this document. The information in this record has been migrated into tDAR from the National Archaeological Database Reports Module (NADB-R) and updated. Most NADB-R records consist of a document citation and other metadata but do not have the documents themselves uploaded. If you have a digital copy of the document and would like to have it curated in tDAR, please contact us at

Micromorphology of Middle to Later Stone Age sites at Mwanganda's Village, northern Malawi (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Flora Schilt. Susan Mentzer. David Wright. Jessica Thompson. Elizabeth Gomani-Chindebvu.

The Mwanganda's Village site, northern Malawi, was first excavated in 1965-1966 under the direction of J. D. Clark, who reported the recovery of early Middle Stone Age (MSA) stone tools in possible association with the remains of an elephant. New work in 2009-2012 revealed that the elephant and the artifacts were not likely to have been behaviorally associated. The site lies within a series of river terraces dating from the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene. Near the top of the sequence an in...

Micromorphology reveals changing levels of site occupation intensity at Pinnacle Point 5-6 (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Panagiotis Karkanas.

Using simultaneously fine and coarse resolution sedimentary studies of the deposits of the MSA site of PP5-6 at Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay, South Africa, it was able to reveal different patterns of anthropogenic input and behavior and how these changed through time. Through the microfacies approach using micromorphology it was documented that the PP5-6 sequence shows occupations characterized by small groups and short visits during MIS5. This part of the sediments is dominated by numerous...

Microstratigraphic Investigation of Nomadic Pastoral Campsites in Eastern Mongolia (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Natalia Eguez. Carolina Mallol. Cheryl Makarewicz.

Since the origins of domestication, pastoral societies have been an exceptional example of adaptation and resilience. In recent years, studies focusing on herbivore faecal remains have shown the importance of these remains and their implication for identifying socio-economic activities. Here we present a multi-proxy examination of these deposits for an accurate identification of herds penning. We use micromorphology of soil sediments and stable isotopes analysis combined with archaeology and...

A microstratigrapic perspective on early civic and ritual architecture: a case from the Kala Uyuni site, Bolivia (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Melissa Goodman-Elgar.

This paper brings a microstratigraphic perspective to debates about the origins of sociopolitical complexity though a study of floors from nondomestic structures. Such civic and ceremonial buildings are central to models of community formation and leadership development. In the Bolivian Middle Formative Period I (800-200 BCE) communities became aggregated and expanded the range of civic architecture as populations rose. Demonstrating these trends, the Kala Uyuni site expanded and developed two...

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Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America