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By: John RL Allen(Author)
148 pages, 7 plates with colour illustrations; b/w illustrations
This short introduction aims to provide archaeologists of all backgrounds with a grounding in the principles, materials, and methods of geology. Sections include coverage of main rock-forming minerals and classes of rocks. Geological maps and structures are introduced, and the elements of geological stratigraphy and dating are explained and related to archaeological experience. Fluvial and coastal environments are important archaeological landscapes and their formation processes, sediments and topography are outlined. Stone for building, implement-making, tool-making, and making mortar are all discussed, followed by an introduction to clays and ceramics. A final chapter introduces metallurgical landscapes: metalliferous ores, mining and smelting, and metal-making industries. Each chapter ends with a short reading list, and many have selected case-histories in illustration of the points made. Included is a glossary of technical terms.
1. Why Geology Matters
3. Rocks and Sediments
4. Geological Maps
5. Geological Stratigraphy
6. Geology and Landscape
7. Rivers and Water Management
8. Sea-Level and Coasts
9. Stone for Building
10. Stone for Tools and Implements
11. Pottery and Brick
12. Metallurgical Landscapes
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Emeritus Professor John Allen is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading. He took a degree in Geology at the University of Sheffield and for many years taught Geology at Reading, where his chief interests were in the sedimentology of fluvial deposits (especially the Devonian Old Red Sandstone) and in sedimentary processes and structures. In the 1980s he turned his attention to modern estuarine sediments, and became increasingly interested in the archaeology of British coastal environments, especially those of the Severn and other estuaries, where he showed in collaboration with professional archaeologists that an appreciation of geological processes is essential to an understanding of the archaeological sites and their landscapes. His contributions to postgraduate courses in Geoarchaeology at Reading stress the importance of an understanding of geological principles, maps, and materials, especially rocks and minerals, to the refinement and resolution of numerous archaeological problems.
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