The study of phytoliths – inorganic silica remnants plants leave behind when they die and decay – has developed dramatically over the last twenty years. New publications have documented a diverse array of phytoliths from many regions around the globe, while new understandings have emerged as to how and why plants produce phytoliths. Together, these developments make phytoliths a powerful tool in reconstructing past environments and human uses of plants. In Phytoliths, Dolores Piperno makes sense of the discipline for both those working directly with phytoliths in the field or the lab as well as for those who rely on the results of phytolith studies for their own research. Including over a hundred images, Piperno's book will be of great benefit to archaeologists and paleobotanists in the classroom or the lab.
"The terms Dolores Piperno and Phytolith Analysis are nearly synonymous. Dr. Piperno has devoted her career to phytolith research and pioneered many of the techniques and interpretations that are now standard. Her 1988 book on phytoliths set the path for others to follow. Now, nearly two decades later her new edition includes a vast array of new information, techniques, keys, and a bibliography that will guide students and professionals alike for decades to come."
– Vaughn M. Bryant