Event Title

Soiling the Name of Indiana Jones: Digging Deeper into the Science of Archaeology

Date

April 2020

Description

In the minds of many, archaeology is Indiana Jones and treasure hunts, but archaeology is actually a unique scholarly field that combines both humanities and sciences. A primary principle in archaeology is “Context is everything,” and in most situations this “context” is soil. By studying the soil, archaeologist can better understand and see many aspects that help in analyzing the nature of the site. Some of these key aspects include the better understanding of the different time periods on a site, cultural practices and processes, and the differences, both natural and cultural, between the periods and occupancies. This soil analysis can be used at most sites, including a current project site in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This site is home to a relatively shallow unit containing microstratigraphy. Understanding how soil sciences helps us to better scrutinize the history of this site illuminates how such analysis can improve practices and interpretations within the archaeological field generally.

Comments

This flash talk is based on an individual research project.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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Soiling the Name of Indiana Jones: Digging Deeper into the Science of Archaeology

In the minds of many, archaeology is Indiana Jones and treasure hunts, but archaeology is actually a unique scholarly field that combines both humanities and sciences. A primary principle in archaeology is “Context is everything,” and in most situations this “context” is soil. By studying the soil, archaeologist can better understand and see many aspects that help in analyzing the nature of the site. Some of these key aspects include the better understanding of the different time periods on a site, cultural practices and processes, and the differences, both natural and cultural, between the periods and occupancies. This soil analysis can be used at most sites, including a current project site in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This site is home to a relatively shallow unit containing microstratigraphy. Understanding how soil sciences helps us to better scrutinize the history of this site illuminates how such analysis can improve practices and interpretations within the archaeological field generally.