Session: #251

Theme & Session Format

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

Title & Content

IMPR – Phytolith Identification, Classification and Morphometry
Phytolith analysis is an established field of research that is applied worldwide to a broad range of research areas, including archaeobotany and palaeo-ecology, amongst others. One the one hand, classification of a large number of common phytolith morphotypes is very well established. As a result, it is well possible to identify phytoliths on (sub)family, genus and sometimes species level, and/or to assign them to plant parts. On the other hand, when considering all plants of the world, it is only partly known which plants produce phytoliths, what type of phytoliths they produce, and whether and how these phytoliths can be distinguished from those of other taxa and plant parts. Another challenge is the description of phytolith in a uniform way, so that outcomes of different studies can be easily understood and compared. While the publication of the International Code on Phytolith Nomenclature versions 1.0 and 2.0 were important milestones, improvement of phytolith taxonomy, which, by definition, includes description, identification, nomenclature and classification of phytoliths, continues to be an ongoing important line of research.
The session “Phytolith identification, classification, and morphometry” aims to discuss the above-raised topics and welcomes all types of contributions about phytolith taxonomy and classification, for example, but not limited to, the application of the International Code for Phytolith Nomenclature 2.0, studies concerning the development of new identification criteria based on morphology, and studies presenting or applying identification criteria based on phytolith morphometry. These studies can relate to both archaeological and modern plant material.
This session is part of the 12th International Meeting for Phytolith Research, or IMPR, the official scientific conference of the International Phytolith Society.
Phytolith taxonomy, identification, classification, morphology, morphometry
Session associated with MERC:
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Session associated with other:
IPS - International Phytolith Society 12th IMPR - International Meeting for Phytolith Research


Main organiser:
Welmoed Out (Denmark) 1
Luc Vrydaghs (Belgium) 2
1. Moesgaard Museum
2. Maritime Cultures Research Institute (MARI) – VUB