Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, and Palaeolandscape Reconstruction in Landscape Archaeology

Authored by: Nicola Stern

Handbook of Landscape Archaeology

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781598742947
eBook ISBN: 9781315427737
Adobe ISBN: 9781315427720


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This chapter explores how the stratigraphic and sedimentary context of archaeological debris affects the practice of landscape archaeology. Only a fraction of the archaeological record consists of material remains that accumulated on (or close to) the surface of the modern landscape. Material remains from the remote past are preserved only because they were covered over by sediments, and those sediments usually represent fragments of ancient landscapes that bear little or no relationship to the topographic features or habitats that can be observed in an area today. For this reason, documenting and interpreting the geological context of material remains are fundamental to the practice of landscape archaeology, whatever interpretive approaches are employed to explicate the distribution, density, and characteristics of those remains.

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