Microfossils in Iron Age and Romano-British ceramics from eastern England
I. P. Wilkinson, M. Williams, C. Stocker, I. Whitbread, I. Boomer, T. Farman, J. Taylor, 2017. "Microfossils in Iron Age and Romano-British ceramics from eastern England", The Archaeological and Forensic Applications of Microfossils: A Deeper Understanding of Human History, M. Williams, T. Hill, I. Boomer, I. P. Wilkinson
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Clay was an important resource for the Iron Age and Romano-British population of eastern England as a building material as well as in the manufacture of ceramics. The micropa-laeontological and petrological signatures of potsherds from the hill fort at Burrough Hill (Leicestershire), Gamston (Nottinghamshire) and four sites in Cambridgeshire (Barley Croft Farm, Trumpington Meadows, Bradley Fen and Kings Dyke, Whittlesey) reﬂect the age and geological provenance of the raw materials and the ﬁring methods. The clay used in the ceramics from Burrough Hill appears to have been sourced from the local Pleistocene glacial till (Anglian-age Oadby Member, Wolston Formation), whereas those from Gamston were probably derived from the nearby Lower Jurassic strata. Although microfossils were very rare in the material from Cambridgeshire, those found are not inconsistent with an Upper Jurassic source.
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The Archaeological and Forensic Applications of Microfossils: A Deeper Understanding of Human History
Microfossils are an abundant component of the sedimentary rock record. Their analysis can reveal not only the environments in which the rocks were deposited, but also their age. When combined, the spatial and temporal distribution patterns of microfossils offer enormous utility for archaeological and forensic investigations. Their presence can act as a geological ‘fingerprint’ and the tiniest fragment of material, such as a broken Iron Age potsherd, can contain a microfossil signature that reveals the geographical source of the materials under investigation. This book explores how microfossils are employed as tools to interpret human society and habitation throughout history. Examples include microfossil evidence associated with Palaeolithic human occupation at Boxgrove in Sussex, alongside investigations into human-induced landscape change during the Holocene. Further examples include the use of microfossils to provenance the source materials of Iron Age ceramics, Roman mosaics and Minoan pottery, in addition to their application to help solve modern murder cases, highlighting the diverse applications of microfossils to improving our understanding of human history.