Taphonomy and Interpretation

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Papers from the 1993 Association for Environmental Archaeology conference at Durham. The themes of the conference were taphonomy and interpretation, to encourage spreakers to go beyond data acquisition and description. This volume looks at how material (pollen, insects, bones etc.) came to be deposited in the context from which they were recovered), how surviving material might compare with what existed in the past. Furthermore, how our methodologies can bias our results and how material might be interpreted in terms of past human activities and environmental processes. These themes are relevant to all archaeological and palaeo-ecological enquireies, regardless of the type of material studied. The archaeological periods studied range from the Bronze Age to the 19th century AD and include rural, urban and buiral sites. Several contributors recommend the use of multiple lines of enquiry as a means of counteracting the biases inherent in any one type approach or group of material. Several papers are concerned with the nature of of the recovered archaeological data, looking for patterns that might be interpretable in terms of past environments or taphonomic process.

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Oxbow Books
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