Session: #246

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

IMPR – Phytoliths in Integrated Archaeobotanical and Ethnoarchaeological Studies
The session “Phytoliths in integrated archaeobotanical and ethnoarchaeological studies” is dedicated to the wide range of applications of phytoliths in archaeology, paleoanthropology and palaeoethnobotany. The identification of plant remains at an archaeological site can be indicative of the resources and environments exploited by peoples, their subsistence strategy and further economic and cultural practices. Research questions that can be addressed concern agronomy, economy and diet in the past, i.e. how phytoliths can be used to reconstruct the cultivation, processing and use of plants for food and animal fodder. In addition, phytoliths can help to disentangle plant uses for non-food purposes as well. In this case, information can be gained about, for instance, architecture, medicinal uses, textiles and other aspects of domestic, economic and ritual spheres.
In this session, studies of modern ethnographic contexts are also welcome, that offer insights into traditional plant uses and that can be used to calibrate the interpretation of the phytolith fossil assemblage from comparable archaeological contexts. Through this comparison, deposition processes, traditions and cultural choices behind human behaviour in the past can be better identified and understood. Presentations can focus on the investigation of phytoliths from specific objects or from different contexts from one or multiple sites. Contributions that show a comparison of the phytolith record with other kinds of archaeobotanical records (macro-remains, wood/charcoal, starch, pollen and NPPs, plant biomarkers), as well as with other proxies (stable isotopes of osteological records or seeds, faunal assemblages, etc.) are particularly welcome. Case studies and reviews may concern different periods and geographical regions.
This session is part of the 12th International Meeting for Phytolith Research, or IMPR, the official scientific conference of the International Phytolith Society.
phytoliths, crop-processing, fodder, non-food plant uses, ethnobotany, ethnoarchaeology
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:
IPS - International Phytolith Society 12th IMPR - International Meeting for Phytolith Research


Main organiser:
Marta Dal Corso (Germany) 1
Welmoed Out (Denmark) 2
1. Kiel University
2. Moesgaard Museum