Aviation archaeology is a recognized sub-discipline within archaeology and underwater archaeology as a whole. It is an activity practiced by both enthusiasts and academics in pursuit of finding, documenting and preserving sites important in aviation history. For the most part, these sites are aircraft wrecks and crash sites, but include structures and facilities related to aviation, it is known in some circles and depending on the perspective of those involved as aircraft archaeology or aerospace archaeology and has been described variously as crash hunting, underwater aircraft recovery, wreck chasing, or wreckology. The activity dates to post-World War II Europe when, after the conflict, numerous aircraft wrecks studded the countryside. Many times, memorials to those involved in the crashes were put together by individuals, landholders, or communities. Crash sites vary in content. Other sites, like in civilian/commercial crashes, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will have all of the aircraft and debris removed.
Remains of military aircraft crash sites may be removed by various aircraft restoration groups if the aircraft was found intact. In general, most recent-day aircraft crashes are removed due to environmental regulations, leaving little to indicate the existence of a wreck. For example, military crashes in Arizona originate from numerous air bases and present; because of the warm and sunny weather, much of the U. S. Army Air Forces flight training was located in the state, both during and after WWII. Numerous air bases dotted the states - creating conditions for numerous training accidents. Old abandoned US Army Air Corp auxiliary fields and those converted to city municipal airports provide archaeological sites to be researched and investigated. Keeping a record of a crash site, such as photographs, journals and all terrain and weather recordings are essential, i.e. the Glenwood Springs, Colorado, B-17 crash site or the Tells Peak, CA, B-17 crash site. The internet is an ideal media for sharing, recording and promoting aviation archaeology as a hobby, as well as research projects for local and state aviation historical groups.
For identifying aircraft type and manufacturer by part numbers and manufacturing inspection stamps can be analysed. From detailed GPS data & maps, to researching accident reports information, numerous resources help create a complete picture of the historic event. Accident reports, such as the official US Air Force Accident Report Form 14 becomes the foundation of archaeology research. From there, newspaper articles, county clerk records, sheriff & coroner reports, library records all aid an aviation archaeologist in their research. Legal protection of aircraft wreck sites is variable. In terms of protection by aircraft ownership, the U. S. Navy retains indefinite ownership of all Naval aircraft, including terrestrial or submerged wreck sites; the U. S. Air Force has no policies regarding disturbance of vintage aircraft wreck sites, unless human remains or weaponry remain unrecovered at the site. For vintage aircraft, including vintage military aircraft, that are considered abandoned when wrecked, the wreck site and all associated contents are subject to the protection laws of the land upon which it rests.
The language of cultural heritage protection laws are not aviation specific, so all protection laws pertaining to aviation sites are based on interpretation. Most federal and state laws are, explicit in describing cultural resources as either ‘objects, sites, or otherwise, of historic value’ or ‘military or social history’ and deem the time limit as over fifty years old. If an aircraft wreck is over fifty years old, which includes all aviation wreck sites from WWII, crashed on what is federal lands, the sites are automatically protected under National Park Service Law 36CFR2.1 against disturbance of any kind without a permit. Aviation sites, for example, a vintage hangar on an airport or a wreck site on the path of a proposed highway, are immediately subject to Section 106 review if they are to be disturbed by a project that either requires a federal permit or uses federal funds. In most cases, the State Historic Preservation Officer will determine whether or not an aviation site is eligible for the register.
The National Register deems aviation wreck sites as “any aircraft, crashed, damaged, stranded, or abandoned”. It designates the protection terms for aviation history sites as well, including abandoned airfields or facilities sites, testing or experimental sites, land or water air terminals, or airway beacons and navigational aids. State lands protection laws vary across the nation but the language describing a historical resource is the same as federal laws. Therefore, aviation properties and aircraft wrecks on State lands can be protected under various environmental, public resource, historical property laws as outlined per state for the protection of archaeological and historic resources. Any archaeological survey, excavation, or activity that disturbs wither wreck or aviation property remains can, in some cases, be permitted on federal and state lands under a permitting process through the regulating entity. If an aircraft wreck, or the remains of any aviation property, is located on private land it is not automatically protected by any federal, state, or local law and any survey or excavation work must be permitted by the land owner.
Under the'Sunken Military Craft Act’ of 2004, it is illegal to disturb, remove, or injure the wreck sites or as
Zooarchaeology is the branch of archaeology that studies faunal remains related to ancient people. Faunal remains are the items left behind, it includes: bones, hair, scales, proteins and DNA. Of these items and shells are the ones that occur most at archaeological sites where faunal remains can be found. Most of the time, most of the faunal remains do not survive, they decompose or break because of various circumstances. This can cause difficulties in interpreting their significance; the development of zooarchaeology in Eastern North America can be broken up into three different periods. The first being the Formative period starting around the 1860s, the second being the Systematization period beginning in the early 1950s, the Integration period which began about 1969. Full-time zooarchaeologists didn’t come about until the Systematization period. Before that it was just a technique, applied but not studied. Zooarchaeological specialists started to come about because of a new approach to archaeology known as processual archaeology.
This approach puts more emphasis on explaining. Archaeologists began to specialize in zooarchaeology, their numbers increased from there on. Zooarchaeology is used to answer several questions; these include: What was the diet like, in what ways were the animals used for food? Which were the animals that were eaten, in what amounts, with what other foods? Who were the ones to obtain the food, did the availability of that food depend on age or gender? How was culture, such as technologies and behavior, influenced by and associated with diet? What purposes, other than food, were animals used for? Zooarchaeology can tell us what the environment might have been like in order for the different animals to have survived. In addition to helping us understand the past, zooarchaeology can help us to improve the present and the future. Studying how people dealt with animals, its effects can help us avoid many potential ecological problems; this includes problems involving wildlife management. For example, one of the questions that wildlife preservationists ask is whether they should keep animals facing extinction in several smaller areas, or in one larger area.
Based on zooarchaeological evidence, they found that animals that are split up into several smaller areas are more to go extinct. One of the techniques that zooarchaeologists use is close attention to taphonomy; this includes studying how items are buried and deposited at the site in question, what the conditions are that aid in the preservation of these items, how these items get destroyed. They interpret that information. Another technique that zooarchaeologists use is lab analysis; this analysis can include comparing the skeletons found on site with identified animal skeletons. This not only helps to identify what the animal is, but whether the animal was domesticated or not, yet another technique that zooarchaeologists use is quantification. They make interpretations based on the size of the bones; these interpretations include. As can be seen from the discussion about the name that should be given to this discipline, zooarchaeology overlaps with other areas of study; these include: Anthropology Anthrozoology Archaeology Biology Ecology Ethnography Paleopathology Palaeontology Paleozoology Zoology Such analyses provide the basis by which further interpretations can be made.
Topics that have been addressed by zooarchaeologists include: Human-Animal relationships and interactions were diverse during Prehistory from being a food source to playing a more intimate role in society. Animals have been used in non-economical ways such as being part of a human burial. However, the major zooarchaeology has focused on, eating what by looking at various remains such as bones and fish scales. In the twenty-first century researchers have begun to interpret animals in prehistory in wider cultural and social patterns, focusing on how the animals have affected humans and possible animal agency. There is evidence of animals such as the Mountain Lion or the Jaguar being used for ritualistic purposes, but not being eaten as a food source. Animal burials date back to prehistory with examples emerging from the Mesolithic period. In Sweden at the burial site Skateholm I dogs were found buried with children under eight years old or were found buried by themselves; some of the dogs who were buried alone have grave goods similar to their human contemporaries such as flint weapons and deer antlers.
Meanwhile, during the same time period Skateholm II emerged and was different than Skateholm I, as dogs were buried along on the North and West boundaries of the grave area. Another burial site in Siberia near Lake Biakal known as the "Lokomotiv" cemetery had a wolf burial among human graves. Buried together with, but beneath the wolf was a male human skull; the wolf breed was not native to this area as it was warm and other research for the area shows no other wolf habitation. Bazaliiskiy & Savelyev suggests that the presence and significance of the wolf could reflect human interaction. Another example occurred in 300 B. C. in Pazyryk known as the Pazyryk burials where ten horses were buried alongside a human male, the horses were adorned with saddles, among other valuables. The oldest horse as the horse with the grandest attachments. Erica Hill, a professor in archaeology, suggests that the burials of prehistory animals can shed light on human-animal relationships. Zooarchaeology allows researchers to h
Anthrozoology is the subset of ethnobiology that deals with interactions between humans and other animals. It is an interdisciplinary field that overlaps with other disciplines including anthropology, medicine, veterinary medicine and zoology. A major focus of anthrozoologic research is the quantifying of the positive effects of human-animal relationships on either party and the study of their interactions, it includes scholars from fields such as anthropology, biology and philosophy. Anthrozoology scholars, such as Pauleen Bennett recognize the lack of scholarly attention given to non-human animals in the past, to the relationships between human and non-human animals in the light of the magnitude of animal representations, symbols and their actual physical presence in human societies. Rather than a unified approach, the field consists of several methods adapted from the several participating disciplines to encompass human-nonhuman animal relationships and occasional efforts to develop sui generis methods.
The interaction and enhancement within captive animal interactions. Affective or relational bonds between humans and animals Human perceptions and beliefs in respect of other animals How some animals fit into human societies How these vary between cultures, change over times The study of animal domestication: how and why domestic animals evolved from wild species Captive zoo animal bonds with keepers The social construction of animals and what it means to be animal The zoological gaze The human-animal bond Parallels between human-animal interactions and human-technology interactions The symbolism of animals in literature and art The history of animal domestication The intersections of speciesism and sexism The place of animals in human-occupied spaces The religious significance of animals throughout human history Exploring the cross-cultural ethical treatment of animals The critical evaluation of animal abuse and exploitation Mind and personhood in nonhuman animals The potential human health benefits of companion animal ownership There are 23 college programs in HAS or a related field in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as an additional eight veterinary school programs in North America, over thirty HAS organizations in the US, Great Britain, France, New Zealand, Israel and Switzerland.
In the UK, the University of Exeter runs an MA in Anthrozoology which explores human-animal interactions from anthropological perspectives. Human animal interactions involving companion animals are studied by the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, which partners with the US National Institutes of Health to research HAI in relation to child development and aging. There are now three primary lists for HAS scholars and students—H-Animal, the Human-Animal Studies listserv, NILAS, as well as the Critical Animal Studies list. There are now over a dozen journals covering HAS issues, many of them founded in the last decade, hundreds of HAS books, most of them published in the last decade. Brill, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Palgrave-McMillan, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, Oxford all offer either a HAS series or a large number of HAS books. In addition, in 2006, Animals and Society Institute began hosting the Human-Animal Studies Fellowship, a six-week program in which pre- and post-doctoral scholars work on a HAS research project at a university under the guidance of host scholars and distance peer scholars.
Beginning in 2011, ASI has partnered with Wesleyan Animal Studies, who will be hosting the fellowship in conjunction with ASI. There are a handful of HAS conferences per year, including those organized by ISAZ and NILAS, the Minding Animals conference, held in 2009 in Australia. There are more HAS courses being taught now than before; the ASI website lists over 300 courses in twenty-nine disciplines at over 200 colleges and universities, not including over 100 law school courses. Animals and Society Institute Anthrozoology Research Group H-Animal Human-Animal Studies listserve Humanimalia: a journal of human-animal interface studies NILAS
Economic anthropology is a field that attempts to explain human economic behavior in its widest historic and cultural scope. It is practiced by anthropologists and has a complex relationship with the discipline of economics, of which it is critical, its origins as a sub-field of anthropology began with work by the Polish founder of anthropology Bronislaw Malinowski and the French Marcel Mauss on the nature of reciprocity as an alternative to market exchange. For the most part, studies in economic anthropology focus on exchange. In contrast, the Marxian school known as "political economy" focuses on production. Post-World War II, economic anthropology was influenced by the work of economic historian Karl Polanyi. Polanyi drew on anthropological studies to argue that true market exchange was limited to a restricted number of western, industrial societies. Applying formal economic theory to non-industrial societies was mistaken, he argued. In non-industrial societies, exchange was "embedded" in such non-market institutions as kinship and politics.
He labelled this approach Substantivism. The formalist–substantivist debate was influential and defined an era; as globalization became a reality, the division between market and non-market economies – between "the West and the Rest" – became untenable, anthropologists began to look at the relationship between a variety of types of exchange within market societies. Neo-substantivists examine the ways in which so-called pure market exchange in market societies fails to fit market ideology. Economic anthropologists have abandoned the primitivist niche they were relegated to by economists, they now study the operations of corporations and the global financial system from an anthropological perspective. Bronislaw Malinowski's path-breaking work, Argonauts of the Western Pacific, addressed the question, "why would men risk life and limb to travel across huge expanses of dangerous ocean to give away what appear to be worthless trinkets?". Malinowski traced the network of exchanges of bracelets and necklaces across the Trobriand Islands, established that they were part of a system of exchange.
He stated that this exchange system was linked to political authority. In the 1920s and Malinowski's study became the subject of debate with the French anthropologist, Marcel Mauss, author of The Gift. Malinowski emphasised the exchange of goods between individuals, their non-altruistic motives for giving: they expected a return of equal or greater value. In other words, reciprocity is an implicit part of gifting. Mauss, in contrast, has emphasized that the gifts were not between individuals, but between representatives of larger collectivities; these gifts were, he argued, a "total prestation." They were not simple, alienable commodities to be bought and sold, like the "Crown jewels", embodied the reputation and sense of identity of a "corporate kin group," such as a line of kings. Given the stakes, Mauss asked "why anyone would give them away?" His answer was an enigmatic concept, hau, "the spirit of the gift." A good part of the confusion was due to a bad translation. Mauss appeared to be arguing that a return gift is given to keep the relationship between givers alive.
Based on an improved translation, Jonathan Parry has demonstrated that Mauss was arguing that the concept of a "pure gift" given altruistically only emerges in societies with a well-developed market ideology. Mauss' concept of "total prestations" has been developed in the 20th century by Annette Weiner, who revisited Malinowski's fieldsite in the Trobriand Islands, her 1992 critique was twofold: she noted first that Trobriand Island society has a matrilineal kinship system, that women hold a great deal of economic and political power, as inheritance is passed through the female lines. Malinowski missed this and ignored women's exchanges in his study. Secondly, Weiner has developed Mauss' argument about reciprocity and the "spirit of the gift" in terms of "inalienable possessions: the paradox of keeping while giving." Weiner contrasts "moveable goods," which can be exchanged, with "immoveable goods," which serve to draw the gifts back. She argues that the specific goods given, such as Crown Jewels, are so identified with particular groups that when given, they are not alienated.
Not all societies, have these kinds of goods, which depend upon the existence of particular kinds of kinship groups. French anthropologist Maurice Godelier pushed the analysis further in The Enigma of the Gift. Albert Schrauwers has argued that the kinds of societies used as examples by Weiner and Godelier are all characterized by ranked aristocratic kin groups that fit with Claude Lévi-Strauss' model of "House Societies". Total prestations are given, he argues, to preserve landed estates identified with particular kin groups and maintain their place in a ranked society; the misunderstanding about what Mauss meant by "the spirit of the gift" led some anthropologists to contrast "gift economies" with "market economies," presenting them as polar opposites and imply
Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines. Archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology is distinct from palaeontology, the study of fossil remains, it is important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world. Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and analysis of data collected to learn more about the past. In broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research, it draws upon anthropology, art history, ethnology, geology, literary history, semiology, textual criticism, information sciences, statistics, paleography, paleontology and paleobotany. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, has since become a discipline practiced across the world. Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Since its early development, various specific sub-disciplines of archaeology have developed, including maritime archaeology, feminist archaeology and archaeoastronomy, numerous different scientific techniques have been developed to aid archaeological investigation. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, opposition to the excavation of human remains.
The science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with particular attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts, as well as historical sites. Antiquarianism focused on the empirical evidence that existed for the understanding of the past, encapsulated in the motto of the 18th-century antiquary, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts not theory". Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Flavio Biondo, an Italian Renaissance humanist historian, created a systematic guide to the ruins and topography of ancient Rome in the early 15th century, for which he has been called an early founder of archaeology. Antiquarians of the 16th century, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, drawing and interpreting the monuments that they encountered.
One of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England. John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, he was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings. He attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out by the Spanish military engineer Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of, covered by ash during the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79; these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and human shapes, as well the unearthing of frescos, had a big impact throughout Europe. However, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard; the father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington. He undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798.
Cunnington made meticulous recordings of Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, the terms he used to categorize and describe them are still used by archaeologists today. One of the major achievements of 19th-century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy; the idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton and Charles Lyell. The application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites. In the third and fourth decades of the 19th-century, archaeologists like Jacques Boucher de Perthes and Christian Jürgensen Thomsen began to put the artifacts they had found in chronological order. A major figure in the development of archaeology into a rigorous science was the army officer and ethnologist, Augustus Pitt Rivers, who began excavations on his land in England in the 1880s, his approach was methodical by the standards of the time, he is regarded as the first scientific archaeologist.
He arranged his artifacts by type or "typologically, within types by date or "chronologically"
In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings within this discipline are debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states that "the study of kinship is the study of what man does with these basic facts of life – mating, parenthood, siblingship etc." Human society is unique, he argues, in that we are "working with the same raw material as exists in the animal world, but can conceptualize and categorize it to serve social ends." These social ends include the socialization of children and the formation of basic economic and religious groups. Kinship can refer both to the patterns of social relationships themselves, or it can refer to the study of the patterns of social relationships in one or more human cultures. Over its history, anthropology has developed a number of related concepts and terms in the study of kinship, such as descent, descent group, affinity/affine, consanguinity/cognate and fictive kinship.
Further within these two broad usages of the term, there are different theoretical approaches. Broadly, kinship patterns may be considered to include people related by both descent – i.e. social relations during development – and by marriage. Human kinship relations through marriage are called "affinity" in contrast to the relationships that arise in one's group of origin, which may be called one's descent group. In some cultures, kinship relationships may be considered to extend out to people an individual has economic or political relationships with, or other forms of social connections. Within a culture, some descent groups may be considered to lead back to gods or animal ancestors; this may be conceived of on a less literal basis. Kinship can refer to a principle by which individuals or groups of individuals are organized into social groups, roles and genealogy by means of kinship terminologies. Family relations can be represented abstractly by degrees of relationship. A relationship may reflect an absolute.
Degrees of relationship are not identical to legal succession. Many codes of ethics consider the bond of kinship as creating obligations between the related persons stronger than those between strangers, as in Confucian filial piety. In a more general sense, kinship may refer to a similarity or affinity between entities on the basis of some or all of their characteristics that are under focus; this may be due to a shared ontological origin, a shared historical or cultural connection, or some other perceived shared features that connect the two entities. For example, a person studying the ontological roots of human languages might ask whether there is kinship between the English word seven and the German word sieben, it can be used in a more diffuse sense as in, for example, the news headline "Madonna feels kinship with vilified Wallis Simpson", to imply a felt similarity or empathy between two or more entities. In biology, "kinship" refers to the degree of genetic relatedness or coefficient of relationship between individual members of a species.
It may be used in this specific sense when applied to human relationships, in which case its meaning is closer to consanguinity or genealogy. Family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence/shared consumption. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children; as the basic unit for raising children, Anthropologists most classify family organization as matrifocal. However, producing children is not the only function of the family. Different societies classify kinship relations differently and therefore use different systems of kinship terminology – for example some languages distinguish between affinal and consanguine uncles, whereas others have only one word to refer to both a father and his brothers. Kinship terminologies include the terms of address used in different languages or communities for different relatives and the terms of reference used to identify the relationship of these relatives to ego or to each other. Kin terminologies can be either classificatory.
When a descriptive terminology is used, a term refers to only one specific type of relationship, while a classificatory terminology groups many different types of relationships under one term. For example, the word brother in English-speaking societies indicates a son of one's same parent. In many other classificatory kinship terminologies, in contrast, a person's male first cousin may be referred to as brothers; the major patterns of kinship systems that are known which Lewis Henry Morgan identified through kinship terminology in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family are: Iroquois kinship Crow kinship (an expansion of b
Paleoethnobotany or Archaeobotany is the archaeological sub-field that studies plant remains from archaeological sites. Basing on the recovery and identification of plant remains and the ecological and cultural information available for modern plants, the major research themes are the use of wild plants, the origins of agriculture and domestication, the co-evolution of human-plant interactions. Plant macrofossils are preserved through four main modes of preservation at archaeological sites. First, plant remains cereal grains, chaff and charcoal are reduced to elemental carbon when they are heated in a reducing atmosphere; these are referred to as'charred' or'carbonised' plant remains. This mode of preservation is biased towards plant remains that come into contact with fire, through cooking or fuel use, those that are less fragile, such as cereal grains and nutshell. Second, plant remains deposited in permanently waterlogged anoxic conditions are preserved as the absence of oxygen prohibits microbial activity.
This mode of preservation occurs in deep archaeological features such as wells, in urban settlements where organic refuse is deposited, at settlements adjacent to lakes or rivers. A wide range of plant remains are preserved, including seeds, fruit stones, leaves and other vegetative material. Third, calcium-phosphate mineralisation of plant remains occurs in latrine pits and in middens, as plant remains are replaced by calcium-phosphate. In latrine pits, plant remains consumed by humans are the most common items, such as seeds of flavourings, fruit pips and fruit stones. Plant remains are preserved by desiccation in arid environments, where the absence of water limits decomposition. Delicate vegetative plant remains are preserved, such as onion skin and artichoke bracts, alongside fruit stones, cereal chaff and seeds of wild plants. Paleoethnobotanists use a variety of methods to identify plant remains. Charred plant remains are recovered by flotation; the matrix is added to agitated water. The soil and other heavy material, known as heavy fraction, sink to the bottom.
Less dense organic material, such as charred seeds and charcoal tend to float to the surface. The material that floats to the top, called light fraction, is poured into a sieve; the light fraction is dried and examined under a low power microscope. Samples of the heavy fraction are gathered for analysis. Flotation can be undertaken manually with buckets, or by machine-assisted flotation where water is circulated through a series of tanks by a pump. Waterlogged plant remains are separated from the matrix by a combination of wet-sieving and/or small-scale flotation in a laboratory. Desiccated plant remains are recovered by dry-sieving, using a stack of different sieves to separate larger items such as cereal straw and fruit stones from smaller items such as weed seeds. Identification of macroremains is usually carried out under a stereomicroscope, using morphological features such as shape and surface features in the case of seeds, or microanatomy in the case of wood or charcoal. Identification literature as well as a comparative collection of modern plant materials are crucial for reliable results.
Depending on the type of material, its condition other methods such as thin sections or SEM are applied. Plant macroremains are quantified on the basis of a sample, using either quantitative, semi-quantitive, or presence/absence scores. Paleoethnobotanists recover and analyze microremains and animal excrements, or plant impressions in ceramic sherds and clay. Palynology is a mature and distinct scientific discipline that studies pollen in the context of reconstructing past environments. Dendrochronology, the study of growth rings on trees relating to study of past environments, is another scientific discipline useful to paleoethnobotanical study; the work done in paleoethnobotany can be divided into field work, collections management, systematic description of species, theories into the origins of human and plant interaction. Some examples of this analysis: A paleoethnobotanist may find discrete concentrations of burned or dried remnants of seeds in an area of discolored soil. If analyses indicates that the remnants were of only mature wild seeds of a type of plant that grows locally, it could be inferred that the site was only visited seasonally.
Such an inference could be supported by a lack of other features that would suggest that no permanent shelters were built at the site. Alternatively, a paleoethnobotanist may find that a fire pit feature contains concentrated remnants of a wide variety of edible wild plants that mature throughout the year. An archaeologist may find features at the site; the middens may have concentrations of animal remains, identified by a zooarchaeologist as those of wild game, with a variety of species-specific maturity levels. In that case, a more permanent settlement may be inferred to the level of a village; such an analysis of the archaeological features could suggest a society of hunter-gatherers who inhabited the site on a more-or-less year-round basis. A paleoethnobotanist may find concentrated remains of plants that are only grown through active cultivation. At the same site, an archaeologist might identify features such as stone walls surrounding enclosures arrayed in a pattern, deep, layered middens with