© 2001

Earth Sciences and Archaeology

  • Paul Goldberg
  • Vance T. Holliday
  • C. Reid Ferring

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Background

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Vance T. Holliday
      Pages 3-35
  3. Geomorphological Studies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 53-53
    2. Charles Frederick
      Pages 55-76
    3. C. Reid Ferring
      Pages 77-106
    4. Jay Stratton Noller
      Pages 143-170
  4. Soils, Sediments, and Microstratiography

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Rolfe D. Mandel, E. Arthur Bettis III
      Pages 173-204
    3. Richard I. Macphail, Jill Cruise
      Pages 241-267
    4. David S. Leigh
      Pages 269-293
  5. Specific Techniques

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 295-295
    2. Sarah C. Sherwood
      Pages 327-351
    3. Kenneth L. Kvamme
      Pages 353-384
  6. Geochemical Methods

    1. W. Jack Rink
      Pages 385-417
    2. Lee C. Nordt
      Pages 419-448

About this book


Earth Sciences and Archaeology brings together contributions from an experienced group of archaeologists and geologists whose common objective is to present thorough and current reviews of the diverse ways in which methods from the earth sciences can contribute to archaeological research. Many areas of research are addressed here, including artifact analysis and sourcing, landscape reconstruction and site formation analysis, soil micromorphology and geophysical exploration of buried sites.
Archaeology has benefited from geological methods in many ways in recent decades. However, in the past ten to twenty years, this informal collaboration between geologists and archaeologists has grown into a formal integration of earth science and archaeology on a significant scale. This book allows the contributors to assess where we are in terms of interdisciplinary research, which approaches work best in specific situations, and where this collaborative approach should progress to in the future.


Earth Science Sediment Sedimentation artifacts geoarchaeology geophysical exploration geophysics landscape reconstruction soil soil micromorphology

Editors and affiliations

  • Paul Goldberg
    • 1
  • Vance T. Holliday
    • 2
  • C. Reid Ferring
    • 3
  1. 1.Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin—MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.University of North TexasDentonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Earth Sciences and Archaeology
  • Editors Paul Goldberg
    Vance T. Holliday
    C. Reid Ferring
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers 2001
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-306-46279-5
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4613-5433-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4615-1183-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXI, 513
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Archaeology
    Geography, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


"This is a "must have" book for every archaeologist, and particularly American archaeologists. Because American archaeologists receive their training in departments of anthropology, most archaeology students receive extensive training in ethnology, physical anthropology, and cultural history, but a minimum of training in the earth sciences, so critical for understanding the archaeological record and how it got that way. This book, assembled by three earth scientists with extensive experience with archaeological settings, contains 17 detailed articles summarizing the current state of knowledge in a variety of earth science techniques used in archaeology. Each article is written by a recognized specialist in that field. This book will be most useful as an introductory text for archaeologists at the graduate level, as a guide for those earth scientists working in archaeological settings, and as a handy reference for all active field archaeologists."
(Fred Wendorf, Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory, Southern Methodist University)
"This is a superb volume, written by the major scholars in the application of geoarchaeological techniques. It will be essential for all archaeologists who are planning excavation projects."
(Thomas Hester, Texas Archeological Research Lab, Austin, USA)
"The distinguished editors have assembled a superb collection of essays by notable scholars that will be useful to anyone who appreciates the geological context of archaeological remains."
(Michael Brian Schiffer, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA)
"This is the most comprehensive and authoritative volume on the interplay between geology and archaeology published to date. Written by leading scholars, the broad geographic and topical coverage of the individual contributions makes it a "must have" for students and professionals alike. The editors have done a tremendous job of maintaining a clear focus and consistent quality to the volume, which should encourage its use in the classroom."
(Harold L. Dibble, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA)
"Earth Sciences and Archaeology is a celebration of the growing partnership between geology, pedology, geology, geophysics and archaeology, and the sophistication by which specialists apply their expert knowledge to the resolution of key archaeological topics. This book is indispensable for anyone who wishes to gain an in depth understanding of how earth sciences contribute to a better understanding of our human past, and those who want to keep abreast of the current advances in an interdisciplinary domain that has become an integral element in contemporary archaeological practice."
(Fekri Hassan, Dept. of Egyptology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK)