UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Anthropogenic sediments and soils: Geoarchaeology

Arroyo-Kalin, M; (2014) Anthropogenic sediments and soils: Geoarchaeology. In: Smith, C, (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology. (279 - 284). Springer New York: New York, NY, USA. Green open access

[thumbnail of Arroyo-Kalin2014_Fdraft_EGA_ANTHROPOGENIC_SEDIMENTS_AND_SOILS_in_template_2819_DFed-1.pdf]
Arroyo-Kalin2014_Fdraft_EGA_ANTHROPOGENIC_SEDIMENTS_AND_SOILS_in_template_2819_DFed-1.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (140kB) | Preview


Archaeology has gradually but consistently increased its interest in the study of soils and sediments over the last decades. As a result of this emphasis, the discipline has not only sought to characterize the terrigenous matrix within which the great majority of archaeological materials are found but, increasingly, to also understand soils and sediments in their double dimension: as archives of archaeological and environmental data and as sui generis artifacts (Butzer 1982; Waters 1992; French 2003; Holliday 2004; Goldberg & Macphail 2006; Walkington 2010). This salience notwithstanding, a tendency to conflate the meaning of sediments and soils continues to exist within the discipline. In some cases, this owes much to the nature of archaeological findings and their context; artifacts are found in sediment deposits that have stratigraphy and which, generally speaking, are sufficiently close to the surface to be affected by soil-forming processes. Be that as it may, it is useful to draw a contrast between “anthropogenic sediments” and “anthropogenic soils” (and indeed between sediments and soils) because the distinction highlights different earthly processes that can affect the formation of this type of archaeological evidence. Put another way, both anthropogenic sediments and anthropogenic soils imply terrigenous material with distinctive characteristics resulting from the strong and enduring influence of past human activity. However, each concept emphasizes a different aspect of the life history of the landscape, that demands the separate attention of archaeological research, especially the subdiscipline of geoarchaeology.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Anthropogenic sediments and soils: Geoarchaeology
ISBN-13: 9781441904263
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_856
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_856
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Geoarchaeology, Anthropogenic sediments, Anthropogenic soils
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10024877
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item