A Consumer's Guide to Archaeological Science

Analytical Techniques

  • Mary E.¬†Malainey

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Basic Science

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 3-21
    3. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 23-26
    4. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 27-34
    5. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 35-44
    6. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 45-72
    7. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 73-81
  3. Applications

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 85-90
    3. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 91-108
    4. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 109-120
    5. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 121-140
    6. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 141-168
    7. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 169-176
    8. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 177-200
    9. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 201-218
    10. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 219-236
    11. Mary E. Malainey
      Pages 237-253
  4. Materials

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 255-255

About this book


Many archaeologists, as primarily social scientists, do not have a background in the natural sciences. This can pose a problem because they need to obtain chemical and physical analyses on samples to perform their research. This manual is an essential source of information for those students without a background in science, but also a comprehensive overview that those with some understanding of archaeological science will find useful. The manual provides readers with the knowledge to use archaeological science methods to the best advantage. It describes and explains the analytical techniques in a manner that the average archaeologist can understand, and outlines clearly the requirements, benefits, and limitations of each possible method of analysis, so that the researcher can make informed choices. The work includes specific information about a variety of dating techniques, provenance studies, isotope analysis as well as the analysis of organic (lipid and protein) residues and ancient DNA. Case studies illustrating applications of these approaches to most types of archaeological materials are presented and the instruments used to perform the analyses are described. Available destructive and non-destructive approaches are presented to help archaeologists select the most effective technique for gaining the target information from the sample. Readers will reach for this manual whenever they need to decide how to best analyze a sample, and how the analysis is performed.


Archaeological Chemistry Archaeological Methods Artifact Analysis Dating Techniques Instrumentation Isotope Analysis Organic Residue Analysis Provenance Studies

Authors and affiliations

  • Mary E.¬†Malainey
    • 1
  1. 1.Brandon UniversityBrandonCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5704-7
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4419-5703-0
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4419-5704-7
  • Series Print ISSN 1571-5752
  • About this book