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Lecture 21 Part 1 – Subsistence-Settlement Patterns: Floral Remains

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Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

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Lecture 21 Part 1 – Subsistence-Settlement Patterns: Floral Remains  Floral/Plant Remains o Types of plant remains:  1. Plant Macrofossils  Visible to the naked eye  Cones, acorns, kernels, etc.  2. Pollen Microfossils  3. Phytolith Microfossils  “Plant stones” o Major problems  Previously ignored  Difficult to recover from sites; need highly specialized refined techniques o Plant Macrofossils  Can’t find them using normal methods (e.g. screens)  Easily overlooked, still relatively small  Very delicate  Need to take bulk samples of the sediments to find the macrofossils  Usually used floatation: pour bulk sediment into a container with a screen and pour water through it or agitate it in water to separate out tiny artifacts/items from the others  Two kinds of macrofossils:  1. Heavy Fraction: heavier than water, end up sitting on the screen  2. Light Fraction: wont sink to the bottom of the screen, floats to the top of the container  Sorted out under a microscope once they are dried; very time consuming  Steps in Analysis:  1. Identification
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