Defining the burial environment

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The burial environment has a decisive role in archaeology, as it decides which materials are preserved for the archaeologist to study. This chapter focuses on the burial environment on land and underwater but will be put into context with reference to the decay of wood and other organic materials. The soil organic content influences the deposits in many ways and is a key parameter to measure: for instance, a high organic content will influence the soil/sediment structure and increase its water retention. Characterizing the burial environment should never stand-alone – it must be combined with other studies in order to discover and quantify previous and ongoing decay at archaeological sites. The chapter introduces the key parameters in the archaeological burial environment on land and underwater and why they are important to measure in order to define and understand the effect the burial environment has on archaeological materials.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Archaeological Sciences
EditorsMark Pollard, Ruth Ann Armitage, Cheryl E. Makarewicz
Number of pages13
Publication date2023
Edition2nd ed
ISBN (Print)978-1-119-59204-4
ISBN (Electronic)9781119592112
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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