Geoarchaeology and archaeological micromorphology

Among the laboratory’s research strands, one is dedicated to the study of archaeological deposits and of site formation under the geoarchaeological perspective.

Geoarchaeological studies concerns both sites and territories, by using the concepts and techniques of the Earth sciences (geomorphology, sedimentology, soil science…). During field-work, specific survey, field description and sampling are performed, while laboratory work mostly includes archaeological micromorphology, that is, the study of large-format thin sections – obtained from undisturbed samples of archaeological deposits – under the optical microscope. Their observation is made under the laboratory’s polarized-light microscope, a customized Olympus BX51P.

The range of sites studied until now is wide and varied for location, age and context, thanks to the collaboration with other researchers, master and PhD students – among the sites: in Italy, Lugo di Grezzana, the Gaban, Dalmeri and Cornafessa rock-shelters, the upland sites of Val di Sole, Ciota Ciara cave, Balzi Rossi Museo and Fontana Ranuccio; in Spain, Cueva Antón, the Rambla Perea sites, Cueva Negra de l’Estrecho del Río Quípar and Cueva del Arco; in Portugal, Gruta da Oliveira, Abrigo do Lagar Velho and Gruta da Figueira Brava. The thin sections from these sites are stored in the laboratory’s facilities.

Further information: prof. Diego E. Angelucci