Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Living Edition
| Editors: William M. White

Archeological Geochemistry

  • Patrick Degryse
  • R. Alexander Bentley
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39193-9_77-1


Archaeological geochemistry is the discipline which integrates geochemical analysis techniques and methods into the study of the human past, to answer questions on subsistence, migration, environment, and the transport and use of natural raw materials.


Archaeology is an interdisciplinary science par excellence. In its quest to reconstruct human behavior in the natural and cultural environment in the past, it uses knowledge and techniques from many different academic disciplines. As the exact sciences are increasingly integrated into archaeological research throughout the world, a range of geochemical tools are applied to archaeological questions dating from early hominins of the Plio-Pleistocene to Paleolithic hunter-gatherers , early Neolithic farmers, and great early state civilizations. Archaeological geochemistry began with the investigation of ancient materials, particularly stone and pottery. More recently, archaeological chemistry has seen a growth of...


Lead Isotope Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer Tooth Enamel Bone Collagen Strontium Isotope 
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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth and Environmental Sciences, division GeologyCentre for Archaeological Sciences, KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Comparative Cultural Studies and Hobby School of Public AffairsUniversity of Houston, McElhinney HallHoustonUSA