Preservation and Perception: Archaeobotanical Patterning and Site Formation Processes in Mycenaean Messenia
Despite the increased application of spatially intensive sampling for archaeobotanical remains at large Mycenaean sites in Greece, the recovered assemblages are typically small and show poor preservation. Here, we consider the macrobotanical assemblage recovered through flotation of more than 7000 L of sediment at the site of Iklaina, in Messenia, in conjunction with microbotanical remains (starches, phytoliths) to illuminate cultural and natural site formation processes that have either negatively or positively affected plant preservation and recovery. We have observed three tentative patterns: the relative absence of materials in both natural and anthopogenic drainage areas, compounded by the downhill erosion of deposits leading to "shallow sites"; heavy clay content which is destructive for both micro- and macro-remains; and the importance of dumping episodes in relatively undisturbed areas that had fallen out of active use. This combination of patterns means that where evidence is preserved, it is rarely in primary contexts that can be used to discuss active-use spaces. Instead, it is better suited to discussions of disposal processes that reflect general and cumulative near-by activities and long-term patterns of resource use. Nonetheless, extensive horizontal excavation at Iklaina has revealed intra-site variation perhaps related to administrative zones vs. combined-use domestic/industrial areas.
Cite this Record
Preservation and Perception: Archaeobotanical Patterning and Site Formation Processes in Mycenaean Messenia. Susan Allen, China Shelton, Calla McNamee. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445220)
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min long: -10.151; min lat: 29.459 ; max long: 42.847; max lat: 47.99 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22634