Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Agrarian Landscapes: Environmental Archaeological Studies

  • Nicholas BranchEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2263

Introduction and Definition

Environmental archaeology has grown to be a major subdiscipline of archaeology, which utilizes scientific approaches from many different backgrounds of academia, including geography, geology, biology, physics, and chemistry (Butser 1982; Dincauze 2000; Bell & Walker 2004; O’Connor & Evans 2005). We can therefore define environmental archaeology in archaeology as “the study of the environment and its relationship with people through time”; this has in turn led to the development of distinctive subdivisions of environmental archaeology called geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, and archaeobotany. Geoarchaeology is concerned with landscape and stratigraphic formation and modification processes and draws mainly on geological, sedimentological, and soil science analytical techniques. Both zooarchaeology and archaeobotany focus not only on human economies and subsistence (diet, health, and nutrition) of both wild and domesticated animals and plants (paleoeconomy) but...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of ReadingReadingUK