Identification and Authentication

  • T. Douglas Price
  • James H. Burton


A previous chapter (Chap. 2) focused on some of the more important and general questions that archaeologists ask about the past – what our ancestors were like, how they lived, what they ate, what sort of environment they inhabited, what kinds of things did they do, their relationships with other people, religious beliefs and ceremonies, and many others. There are many ways that archaeologists try to answer those questions – many perspectives, many ideas, many methods, and many subdisciplines. Fieldwork provides the basic information in the form of artifacts and a variety of other materials that humans buried, abandoned, or lost. Specialists in archaeozoology, archaeobotany, bioarchaeology, geoarchaeology, ceramic and lithic analysis, architecture, and more work to describe and understand the materials that are recovered in excavation and other types of fieldwork.


Sweet Potato Scanning Electron Micro Accelerator Mass Spectrometry British Museum Stone Tool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Suggested Readings

  1. Fagan, Garrett G. (ed.) 2006. Archaeological Fantasies. How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents the Past and Misleads the Public. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Piperno, D.R., A.J. Ranere, I. Holst, and P. Hansell. 2000. Starch Grains Reveal Early Root Crop Horticulture in the Panamanian Tropical Forest. Nature 407:894–897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Courty, Marie-Agnes Paul Goldberg, and Richard Macphail. 1990. Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Feder, Kenneth L. 1998. Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Archaeological ChemistryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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