Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Karstic Landscapes: Geoarchaeology

  • Andrea L. Balbo
  • Eneko Iriarte
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_857

Introduction

Karstic landscapes are found over 12 % of the Earth’s terrain. Due to their physicochemical (e.g., high alkalinity) and physiographical (e.g., caves, dolines, poljes) characteristics, they preserve some of the most impressive evidence of human evolution and behavior as well as good continental palaeoenvironmental records. It is perhaps due to these reasons that karstic landscapes have seen some of the earliest applications of geoarchaeology (e.g., at the Haua Fteah cave in McBurney 1967). In spite of recent attempts (e.g., Reeder 2011), a full overview on the geoarchaeology of karstic landscapes that goes beyond the study of caves is still missing in textbooks and review articles. The need for a more comprehensive definition and systematization is apparent from the rising number of dedicated conference papers and publications and the integration of geoarchaeology in research clusters and institutes focusing on the interdisciplinary study of karstic landscapes. The present...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Complexity and Socio-Ecological Dynamics, Departamento de Arqueología y AntropologíaIstitució Milà i Fontanals, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IMF-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Evolución Humana, Departamento de Ciencias Históricas y GeografíaUniversidad de BurgosBurgosSpain