The Geomorphological and Geological Context

Part of the Natural Science in Archaeology book series (ARCHAEOLOGY)


As noted in the preceding chapter, geomorphology is a discipline more often found in the larger field of physical geography, at least in the United States and Great Britain, while sedimentology is a speciality area of geology. While some in archaeology may wonder at a partition in what is basically earth science, the location of geomorphology within geography has had some unexpected benefits, most notably the recognition and use of the burgeoning techniques of geographic information systems better known as GIS. Likewise geographers were quick to incorporate their traditional interest in remote sensing into GIS studies as well. Digitally based, these large-scale spatial analysis systems have proven to be a boon to geoarchaeological researchers. GIS frameworks, devised principally within geography, have made it possible to converge many different lines of data into synthetic map projections that can be manipulated and compared so as to yield new insights into the nature of archaeological sites and their locations. Had geomorphology been housed exclusively within geology departments, it is unlikely that GIS methodology would have entered the arsenal of archaeological geology as quickly as it has. Sedimentology and its close relationship to paleoenvironmental study, particularly in quaternary research, have continued to be a major component of archaeological geology. Likewise, the mapping the surface and subsurface of an archaeological locale provides crucial information as to the why of a site’s specific location and possible function.


Last Glacial Maximum Archaeological Site Fluvial System Structure From Motion Geomorphic Setting 
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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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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