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Book: Pedological Perspectives in Archaeological Research
Published by: Soil Science Society of America



  1.  p. 1-14
    SSSA Special Publication 44.
    Pedological Perspectives in Archaeological Research

    Mary E. Collins, Brian J. Carter, Bruce G. Gladfelter and Randal J. Southard (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-939-8


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Soils in Alluvial Sequences: Some Archaeological Implications

  1. J. E. Foss,
  2. R. J. Lewis and
  3. M. E. Timpson
  1. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee


Soils in alluvial valleys are of interest in pedo-archaeological studies in developing the environmental history of a site. Although complex soil formation processes exist in alluvial valleys, some general approaches appear to provide a basis for developing Quaternary history and providing information to archaeologists for excavation strategies. Our investigations of alluvial systems have focused on the following: (i) identification of Quaternary or older surfaces; (ii) study of stream migration patterns; (iii) detailed morphological descriptions of soils on typical landscape units, such as flood plains, flood chutes, levees, and terraces; (iv) dating by 14C, diagnostic artifacts, and soil morphology; (v) laboratory analyses, e.g., particle-size distribution and elemental analysis; and (vi) using a team approach in the interpretation phase. Although each alluvial system requires individual analyses and interpretation, several model systems developed may aid in understanding alluvial soil-landscape sequences.

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