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Applied Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology

Handbook / ManualNew

Series: Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology

By: Richard I Macphail(Author), Paul Goldberg(Author)

600 pages, 139 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 12 b/w maps, 49 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2018 | #237445 | ISBN-13: 9781107648685
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £34.99 $46/€40 approx
Hardback | Jan 2018 | #237444 | ISBN-13: 9781107011380
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £84.99 $112/€97 approx

About this book

Applied Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology provides the most up-to-date information on soil science and its applications in archaeology. Based on more than three decades of investigations and experiments, the volume demonstrates how description protocols and complementary methods (SEM/EDS, microprobe, micro-FTIR, bulk soil chemistry, micro- and macro fossils) are used in interpretations. It also focuses on key topics, such as palaeosols, cultivation, and occupation surfaces, and introduces a range of current issues, such as site inundation, climate change, settlement morphology, herding, trackways, industrial processes, funerary features, and site transformation. Structured around important case studies, Applied Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology is thoroughly-illustrated, with color plates and figures, tables and other ancillary materials on its website; chapter appendices can be accessed separately using the web ( This new book will serve as an essential volume for all archaeological inquiry about soil.


Part I. Background Approach and Methods:
1. Applied principles from geology and soil science
2. Complementary analyses
3. Systematic soil micromorphology description

Part II. Soils and Sediments:
4. Soils and burial (horizon types and effects of burial in the Temperate and Boreal regions)
5. Soil-sediments
6. Inundated freshwater and coastal marine sites

Part III. Archaeological Materials:
7. Archaeological materials and deposits

Part IV. Features and Activities in the Landscape:
8. First records of human activity
9. Clearance and cultivation
10. Occupation surfaces and use of space
11. Settlement morphology
12. Site transformation
13. Final remarks

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Richard I. Macphail is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He is coauthor of Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology (with Marie-Agnhs Courty and Paul Goldberg, Cambridge, 1990) and Practical and Theoretical Geoarchaeology (with Paul Goldberg, 2005), and the editor of Site Formation Processes in Archaeology: Soil and Sediment Micromorphology (in Quaternary International, 2012). Macphail has initiated workshops (1990–2016) and training (2006–16) in archaeological soil micromorphology (within the International Union of Soil Science), was associate editor for Geoarchaeology (1990–2014), Professor Invité at Tours in 2004, and gained the Rip Rapp Award from the Geological Society of America in 2009.

Paul Goldberg is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Archaeology, Boston University and Professorial Research Professor at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is coauthor of Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology (Marie-Agnhs Courty and Richard I. Macphail, 1990) and Practical and Theoretical Geoarchaeology (with Richard I. Macphail, 2005). He received the Rip Rapp Award from the Geological Society of America in 2002, the Fryxell Award in 2008, and the Pomerantz Award from the Archaeological Institute of America for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology in 2010. In 2004 and 2013 he was the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Award at Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany. His principal research focus is aimed at using soil micromorphology to understand how archaeological sites form.

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