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Ceramic Micropalaeontology

Wilkinson, I; Quinn, P; Williams, M; Taylor, J; Whitbread, I; (2016) Ceramic Micropalaeontology. In: Hunt, A, (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Ceramic Analysis. (pp. 266-287). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Microfossils found in archaeological ceramics include representatives of kingdoms Fungi, Protista, Plantae, and Animalia and are composed of calcite, silica, or resistant organic compounds capable of withstanding firing. Methods by which microfossils are isolated for study vary considerably, but the best results involve the disaggregation of potsherds into their individual grains or by cutting petrological thin sections. Microfossils can be related directly to the age and depositional environment of the source materials (clays, temper, and slip) used in the manufacturing process, although the introduction of contaminants at the time of construction must also be recognized. When incorporated into an integrated analysis, the microfossils may demonstrate provenance; contribute to a better understanding of the local environment and landscape; identify transportation routes; contribute to an understanding of the technology used, including construction methods and firing; and elucidate the use to which the vessels were put.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Ceramic Micropalaeontology
ISBN-13: 9780199681532
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199681532.013.16
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199681532.013...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: microfossils, provenance, landscape, transportation, technology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
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/10083721
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