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Microfossils and their utility for archaeological and forensic studies

By
Mark Williams
Mark Williams
Department of Geology, University of Leicester, Leicester LEI 7RH, UK
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Tom Hill
Tom Hill
The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK
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Ian Boomer
Ian Boomer
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
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Ian P. Wilkinson
Ian P. Wilkinson
Department of Geology, University of Leicester, Leicester LEI 7RH, UKBritish Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract

The fossil record of skeletons of small organisms, typically 1–3000 μm in size, extends into the deep Precambrian. Some of the earliest putative microfossils are prokaryotic organisms from the Archaean, while the earliest putative eukaryote microfossils are known from the Palaeo-proterozoic. Eukaryotic microfossils include unicellular forms such as foraminifera and radiolarians, and animals such as ostracods and conodonts. While widely applied to biostratigraphical and palaeoenvironmental investigations in geological contexts, microfossils have an increasing importance in archaeological and forensic studies. Their small size, skeletal robustness, remarkable range of morphologies, wide distribution and huge numbers in small samples have proved decisive in the provenance of archaeological and forensic evidence. Further, they provide environmental context for the increasing influence of humans on the landscape from Palaeolithic to Classical cultures.

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The Micropalaeontological Society, Special Publications

The Archaeological and Forensic Applications of Microfossils: A Deeper Understanding of Human History

M. Williams
M. Williams
University of Leicester, UK
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T. Hill
T. Hill
The Natural History Museum, UK
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I. Boomer
I. Boomer
University of Birmingham, UK
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I. P. Wilkinson
I. P. Wilkinson
British Geological Survey, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781786203069
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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