Environmental Archaeology

Module code: AR2008

How do we know what a society ate? What crops they grew and what animals they herded? One way to establish the relationship between ancient societies and the environments they lived in is by studying core materials such as plant remains, molluscs, animal bones, soil/sediments and more. Plant pollen found in archaeological layers can tell us what crops and vegetation were likely to have been present in the environment which in turn may lead us to learn about what kind of crops were grown and eaten in a society. We will critically evaluate the techniques used in environmental archaeology and will consider categories of environmental data and their analysis and interpretation.

Topics covered

  • History and principles of environmental archaeology
  • Core materials such as plant remains, pollen, animal bones etc.
  • Modelling landscapes
  • Stable isotopes
  • Starch
  • Ancient DNA
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