Session: #81

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

From Micro- to Macroscale: It’s All a Matter of Perspective
Many archaeological research projects today are interdisciplinary and combine different research traditions, questions, perspectives, and types of data. Such approaches are indispensable when answering complex questions; however, they also necessitate a complex working practice. Combining and correlating the results from various disciplines as well as representing them appropriately can be especially challenging.
How to overcome these challenges of combining different scales and kinds of data is a major point for discussion, particularly in micromorphology. Apart from characterising anthropogenic and natural sediments in a detailed manner, micromorphology can also add to our understanding of formation processes and human activities as well as of taphonomic phenomena. This micro-scale research provides unique insights that are not possible using other methods. However, are such observations, which are usually based on a thin section of only a few square centimetres, really representative for an entire layer, profile or even for a whole site? More generally, how can data that has been gained at a micro-scale be transposed onto a meso- or macro-scale, and how can results originating from different disciplines be correlated?
This session will serve as a forum for (geo-) archaeologists with the focus being on how to deal with our own results and how to relate them to other scales and disciplines. The main questions for this session are:
• How can data that were generated at a micro-scale be transposed onto other scales?
• Which methods can be combined in a meaningful way?
• What kind of format should our data be so that it can be related to other types of data and data qualities in the most advantageous manner?
For, what applies to normal everyday problems also applies to (archaeological) research: it’s all a question of perspective.
Geoarchaeology, Micromorphology, Interdisciplinarity, Methodology
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Main organiser:
David Brönnimann (Switzerland) 1
Lisa-Marie Shillito (United Kingdom) 2
Philippe Rentzel (Switzerland) 1
Christine Pümpin (Switzerland) 1
Kristin Ismail-Meyer (Switzerland) 1
1. University of Basel
2. Newcastle University