Microbotanical Remains in Landscape Archaeology

Authored by: Cassandra Rowe , Peter Kershaw

Handbook of Landscape Archaeology

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781598742947
eBook ISBN: 9781315427737
Adobe ISBN: 9781315427720


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Botanical microfossil remains are defined as plants, plant fragments, or products invisible to the naked eye and thus requiring magnification for study (Braiser 1980; Dincauze 2000). Although plant microfossil research incorporates a variety of components, including determination of taphonomic processes, field recovery, laboratory preparation, identification, data presentation, and interpretation (Coil et al. 2003), this chapter restricts itself to general research practice in landscape archaeology. Archaeologists should acquire an understanding of the basic principles of plant microfossil data in order to recognize how any particular fossil type can become a useful part of excavation and research programs. At the same time, archaeologists should be aware and appreciative of the expertise required in microbotanical fossil analysis, when addressing problems at various levels of complexity in particular. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an introduction into microfossil analysis and associated literature base so that a knowledgeable step toward expertise and collaboration can be taken.

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