Environmental remains are recovered in bulk or specialist samples
from archaeological sites. Bulk samples are processed using flotation
to recover the light fraction (flot) and to retain the heavy fraction
(residue) while cleaning the sample of sediment. The flot and
residue may contain small bones and molluscs, botanical remains
including seeds and charcoal, and classes of small finds such
as lithics, slag and hammerscale. Specialist samples are taken
to target recovery of specific archaeobotanical and environmental
remains. Column samples for example are used to recover pollen
from waterlogged deposits.
Archaeobotanical remains can provide information on palaeovegetation,
palaeoecomony, site activities, deposition conditions as well
as disturbance and modern contamination. Such remains are recovered
from a wide range of sites, whether from discrete features or
as residual/background evidence of activity. They may be brought
to a site by humans or by birds and animals or other natural means.
They can therefore be used to inform on human activities or natural
conditions in the site vicinity. Botanicals tend to be preserved
through charring, mineralization or in waterlogged/anoxic deposits.
As part of our post-excavation services we offer in-house charcoal
and macroplant analysis and report writing. The analysis of pollen
and phytoliths can be facilitated through established connections