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Rapp, George, Jr. College of Letters and Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Prospecting techniques
- Provenance and age analysis
- Sediment and soil analysis
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Geoarcheology entails the use of geologic concepts, methods, and knowledge for solving archeological problems. Geology and archeology are historical sciences based largely on the study of a complex stratigraphy that contains mineral, fossil, and cultural remains in a spatial and implicitly chronological context, and that is used to reconstruct the succession of events that produced the sedimentary record. Of all the natural sciences now incorporated into archeology, geology has the longest association with it. A union of the young science of geology with the even younger discipline of archeology occurred in the midnineteenth century, growing out of the same intellectual ferment that gave birth to evolutionary biology and much of modern geology. The importance of geology in the solution of archeological problems is now well understood by archeologists. Colin Renfrew, a leading British archeologist, wrote in 1976 that “since archaeology, or a least prehistoric archaeology, recovers almost all of its basic data by excavation, every archaeological problem starts as a problem in geoarchaeology.” The term “archeological geology” is essentially synonymous with geoarcheology.
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