Session: #465

Theme & Session Format

5. Assembling archaeological theory and the archaeological sciences
Session format:
Discussion session (with formal abstracts)

Title & Content

Soil and Sediment Micromorphology in Archaeology
Over the last decades soil and sediment micromorphology has become an important technique to study diverse archaeological problems. Whereas it initially mostly dealt with stratigraphical issues and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, the scope has definitely widened. This resulted in a steady growth of publications (see for instance Stoops, 2014). Together with this growth we also witness a discipline that reaches its maturity with a series of important reference works.
Although these developments are encouraging, Goldberg and Aldeias (2016) rightly point out that the technique is still underutilized in archaeological research. One of the main points they make is that many archaeologists are still unfamiliar with the discipline and its potential and limitations.
The aim of our session is therefore to present some clear (recent) examples of how soil and sediment micromorphology can be utilised in the archaeological framework. We welcome contributions that highlight the potential of soil and sediment micromorphology to address specific archaeological questions from the interpretation of archaeological structures and stratigraphy to the reconstruction of past environments and the human-environment relations.

Stoops, G., 2014. The fabric of soil micromorphological research in the twentieth century – a bibliometric analysis. Geoderma, 213, 193-202.

Goldberg, P. & Aldeias, V., 2016. Why does (archaeological) micromorphology have such little traction in (geo)archaeology? Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 10, 269-278.
Soil micromorphology, Geoarchaeology, Stratigraphy, palaeo-environment, human-environment relations
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Yannick Devos (Belgium) 1
Mateusz Krupski (Poland) 2,3
Cristiano Nicosia (Italy) 4
1. Maritime Cultures Research Institute (MARI), Vrije Universiteit Brussel
2. Foundation
3. Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences
4. Dipartimento dei beni Culturali, Università di Padova