Archaeology in Context: The Influence of the Geoarchaeological Career of Paul Goldberg

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

In May 2014, Dr. Paul Goldberg officially retired as Professor of Archaeology at Boston University. Over the past four decades, he has dedicated himself to collaborative research and the study of archaeological sites and landscapes at multiple scales. In the process he has helped revolutionize our understanding of site formation processes. Although he is best known for his work with micromorpholgy in archaeology, Paul has an exemplary record of geoscience-based research and teaching in all aspects of archaeology. In addition, he has participated in some of the key debates about the evolution of our own species. His influence has been considerable, not just in North America, but across the world. Typical of individuals who make innovative and remarkable contributions to archaeology, Paul has moved from being a lonely voice on the edge of the field to the center of a revolution in archaeologists' abilities to learn about human behavior from imperfect records. This symposium seeks to honor Paul Goldberg's long career and demonstrate his numerous contributions to archaeology through the work of others.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-15 of 15)

  • Documents (15)

  • A Brief Review of the Work of Paul Goldberg in SW France (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Harold Dibble. Alain Turq. Laurent Chiotti. Marie Soressi. Laurent Bruxelles.

    There are few researchers who have achieved the breadth of experience of Paul Goldberg, whose work spans almost every continent on the planet, and from the early Pleistocene to the Holocene. There are some regions, however, that have greatly benefited from his expertise, including SW France. In this paper we will review some of his work here, beginning with his dissertation work at the site of Pech de l’Azé II, and over the past 14 years at the sites of Pech de l’Azé I and IV, Roc de Marsal,...

  • Cave Life Histories of non-anthropogenic Sediments helps us "raise the bar" in our understandings of anthropogenic Sediments (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Curtis Marean. Panagiotis Karkanas.

    A series of sea caves and rock shelters with strong anthropogenic contributions are found at Pinnacle Point (PP) near Mossel Bay in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Two of these (PP13B and PP5-6) have been the target of extensive archaeological excavation and both document anthropogenic and geogenic contributions waxing and waning over time. A variety of caves at PP do not bear anthropogenic remains, such as Staircase Cave and Crevice Cave. A third, PP29, is filled with sediment but...

  • The Earlier Stone Age Occupation of Wonderwerk Cave: Combining the Archaeology and Geology (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Chazan.

    The archaeology and geology of the Earlier Stone Age of Wondewerk Cave (Northern Cape Province, South Africa) present a paradoxical picture. On the one hand there is a record of hominin occupation spanning a period of at least one million year that includes multiple proxies indicating the use of fire. However, the micromorphological study of the sediment shows almost no anthropogenic signal and the density of artifacts is extraordinarily low. This paper presents an overview of the current...

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

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

  • It’s all about scale—thoughts on Paul Goldberg’s contributions to geoarchaeology (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only 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...

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

  • A Most Interesting Career: Paul Goldberg's Other Contributions to Life and Science (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Dennis Sandgathe. Vera Aldeias. Harold Dibble. Shannon McPherron.

    Many people are familiar with Paul Goldberg's contributions to archaeological research around the world through micromorphological analysis. Many are also familiar with his innovations in this area of analysis. However, few may know of his many other contributions. Applying his notable skills and talents to a wide range of practical applications, scientific and otherwise, Paul has made major contributions to life as we know it. His has been, and continues to be, a most interesting career. SAA...

  • New Evidence for Complex Occupation Patterns at Dmanisi, a 1.85-1.76 Ma Site in the Georgian Caucasus (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Reid Ferring.

    Recent excavations and geoarchaeological testing at Dmanisi have revealed a large and complex site structure. Up to 7 meters of stratified deposits, with nine artifact and fossil-bearing strata, are now documented over an area of at least 35,000 square meters on the Dmanisi promontory. These new data indicate that the site was visited repeatedly for a considerable period, indicating a well-established pattern of group cohesion, mobility and planning. These patterns are rarely evidenced in the...

  • Recent Applications of Micromorphology to Cultural Resources Management in the Pacific Northwest (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brandy Rinck.

    Solving geoarchaeological questions in a cultural resources management (CRM) context can be difficult due to time and budget constraints. In the Pacific Northwest, however, recent projects have fortunately allowed for some micromorphological analyses. Paul Goldberg has championed micromorphology as a valuable geoarchaeological method over the past three decades. The micromorphological analysis of shell middens, peat deposits, and alluvial sediment in and around the Seattle, WA area has elevated...

  • Sea Shells by the Sea Shore: microstratigraphic investigations of the Cabeço da Amoreira Mesolithic shell midden (Muge, Portugal) (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Vera Aldeias.

    Cabeço da Amoreira is a long-known Mesolithic shell midden located in the shores of the Muge River in Portugal. Like in similar midden contexts, sedimentation is greatly influenced by anthropic inputs associated with an intensive exploitation of marine and estuarine resources. The abundance of shell-fish refuses favors an intricate and laterally variable stratigraphic succession of layers and lenses, which result in an extensive artificial mound. The complex stratigraphy of shell midden sites...

  • Site Formation Processes and Stratigraphy of Akrotiri Aetokremnos, Cyprus: The Devil is in the Details (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alan Simmons. Rolfe Mandel.

    Akrotiri Aetokremnos is a small collapsed rockshelter that has provided evidence of the earliest well-documented human presence on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. It is, in fact, amongst the earliest numerically dated site on any of the Mediterranean islands. A large suite of radiocarbon ages indicates that Akrotiri Aetokremnos was occupied around 12,000 cal. B.P., during the Late Epipaleolithic. More controversial than the ages is the association of extinct endemic pygmy hippopotami with...

  • Unraveling the Site Formation Process at Finch (47JE0902): A Multicomponent Habitation in Southeastern Wisconsin (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rolfe Mandel. Paul Goldberg. Tony Layzell. Jennifer Haas.

    The Finch site is a multicomponent open-air habitation located in southeastern Wisconsin. Archaeological excavations conducted at the site yielded numerous artifacts and cultural features indicating recurrent and/or continuous occupation (or use) spanning twelve thousand years, from the Early Paleoindian through Late Woodland periods. The site is situated on the rim and side slopes of a kettle basin formed in matrix-supported glacial till overlying outwash and glaciolacustrine deposits. The till...

  • Where’s the beef? The value of an interdisciplinary approach to PPN features (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Trina Arpin. Harris Greenberg.

    The anthropogenic landscape of a prehistoric site is made up of artifacts, structures, and features. However, the three do not receive equal attention. Features--by which we mean stationary but non-structural evidence of human activity--are usually the least analyzed. Inspired by Paul Goldberg’s work on Paleolithic hearths, we hope to bring a new, more inter-disciplinary look at some of these less-studied elements of the anthropogenic landscape. To do so, we will expand the study to a later...