Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert


  • Paul GoldbergEmail author
  • Vance T. Holliday
  • Rolfe D. Mandel
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_2


Stratigraphy has an intuitive meaning to archaeologists even if specific definitions vary (see “  Archaeological Stratigraphy” entry in this volume). In the more classical geological literature, stratigraphy tends to be viewed at the regional scale: “The crux of much of stratigraphy is the spatial relationships of rocks over geographic areas” (Schoch, 1989). It also encompasses physical characteristics of sediments that include notions of space and time:

[S]tratigraphy in the broadest sense is the science dealing with strata and could be construed to cover all aspects—including textures, structures, and composition.... Stratigraphers are mainly concerned with the stratigraphic order and the construction of the geologic column. Hence the central problems of stratigraphy are temporal and involve the local succession of beds (order of superposition), the correlation of local sections, and the formulation of a column of worldwide validity. Although these are the objectives of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Goldberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vance T. Holliday
    • 2
  • Rolfe D. Mandel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyEmeritus at Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Anthropology and Departments GeosciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA