Almost every artifact in archaeological analysis originates in or on the ground. While there are elaborate methods for extracting and analyzing artifacts, treatment of the matrix within which they are located is often unsophisticated and does not include systematic analysis.
Sediments in Archaeological Context concerns the analysis of this matrix and the potential use of sediments to answer archaeological questions. Describing sediments and sampling them in appropriate ways do not replace the study of artifacts, but they can provide additional, useful information regarding a site complex, its physical environment, and the relations of artifacts to each other.
Each chapter in the volume considers sediments within a specific context. Topics include sediments found in a variety of environments: cultural environments, rockshelter and cave environments, dryland alluvial environments, humid alluvial environments, lake environments, shoreline environments, and spring and wetland environments.
Sediments in Archaeological Context is intended for every archaeologist who investigates sites in depositional contexts.
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William R. Farrand is director emeritus of the Exhibit Museum of Natural History and professor emeritus of geological sciences at the University of Michigan.
Julie K. Stein is professor of anthropology and dean of computing, facilities, and research at the University of Washington.
"No other book comes close to this in-depth look at the wide array of sedimentary contexts where we find archaeological sites."
—Vance Holliday, University of Wisconsin
"A significant contribution to geoarchaeology."
—Rolfe Mandel, University of Kansas
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