Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shells and snails and muddy blob tales...

Environmental Archaeology - why mud and microscopic animals are very important!

In January, participants at SAW found out how important microscopic evidence is to archaeologists. The types of snail and seed that you can only see with the help of a microscope help to tell archaeologists and those who study past environments, what the climate of a particular place used to be like and the sorts of plant and animal species would have lived there.

This in turn can help to explain the kinds of activities the past inhabitants have undertaken and the help explain the sorts of man-made objects the archaeologists might find.

Archaeologists routinely take mud and soil samples from their excavated sites to sieve and study. We got to sort through the residue from buckets of muddy water. It's amazing what you can find, someone even found a miniature sea urchin!

Apart from anything, we just love getting muddy!