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Palaeoenvironmental Analysis

Environmental analysis

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 with colleagues.

Contact: Lucy Allott




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Sample Palaeoenvironmental Projects

• Valdoe Quarry, near Chichester.


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