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Durham University

Research & business

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Experimental archaeobotany and geoarchaeology

A research project of the Department of Archaeology.

Background

A series of experimental archaeobotanical and geoarchaeological research projects are underway in the Department laboratories and the Durham University’s Botanic Garden. Undergraduate and post-graduate student projects are being integrated into the long-standing experimental archaeobotany of members of staff, including Dr. Mike Church, Dr. Rosie Bishop and Professor Peter Rowley-Conwy. Projects to date have included fire ash sourcing by mineral magnetism, archaeobotanical preservation in peat and turf fuels, and the differential preservation of cereals, seeds and nuts.

Published Results

Journal Article

  • Church, M J, Peters, C & Batt, C M (2007). Sourcing fire ash on archaeological sites in the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland, using mineral magnetism. Geoarchaeology 22(7): 747-774.
  • Peters, C, Thompson, R, Harrison, A & Church, M J (2002). Low temperature magnetic characterisation of fire ash residues. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 27(31): 1355-1361.
  • Peters, C, Church, M J & Mitchell, C (2001). Investigation of fire ash residues using mineral magnetism. Archaeological Prospection 8(4): 227-237.

Chapter in book

  • Peters, C, Church, M J & Batt, C (2004). Application of mineral magnetism in Atlantic Scotland archaeology 1: techniques, magnetic enhancement and the identification of fuel sources. In Atlantic connections and adaptations: economies, environments and subsistence in lands bordering the North Atlantic. Housley R A & Coles G M Oxford: Oxbow Books. 86-95.
  • Church, M J & Peters, C (2004). Application of mineral magnetism in Atlantic Scotland archaeology 2: magnetic susceptibility and archaeobotanical taphonomy in West Lewis, Scotland. In Atlantic connections and adaptations: economies, environments and subsistence in lands bordering the North Atlantic. Housley, R A & Coles, G M Oxford: Oxbow Books. 99-115.

Staff

From the Department of Archaeology