Geoarchaeology (Geoarchaeology )

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons


Geoarchaeology is an interdisciplinary journal published eight times per year (in January February March April June August October and December). It presents work at the methodological and theoretical interface between archaeology and the earth sciences and includes within its scope: interdisciplinary work focusing on understanding archaeological sites their natural context and particularly the aspects of site formation processes. Manuscripts should explore the interrelationship between archaeology and the various disciplines within the earth sciences such as: geology geography pedology climatology oceanography geochemistry geochronology and geophysics. They may also deal with biological aspects such as faunal and botanical remains. The journal also welcomes manuscripts concerning the examination of material objects by analytical techniques for example ceramics metals flints plasters and cements.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Geoarchaeology website
  • Other titles
    Geoarchaeology (Online), Geoarchaeology
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

John Wiley and Sons

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
    • On personal web site or secure external website at authors institution
    • Deposit in institutional repositories is not allowed
    • JASIST authors may deposit in an institutional repository
    • Non-commercial
    • Pre-print must be accompanied with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
    • Published source must be acknowledged with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'John Wiley and Sons' is an imprint of 'Wiley'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper examines new evidence related to an early (pre-Columbian) European presence in Arctic Canada. Artifacts from archaeological sites that had been assumed to relate to pre-Inuit indigenous occupations of the region in the centuries around A.D. 1000 have recently been recognized as having been manufactured using European technologies. We report here on the SEM-EDS analysis of a small stone vessel recovered from a site on Baffin Island. The interior of the vessel contains abundant traces of copper–tin alloy (bronze) as well as glass spherules similar to those associated with high-temperature processes. These results indicate that it had been used as a crucible. This artifact may represent the earliest evidence of high-temperature nonferrous metalworking in the New World north of Mesoamerica.
    Geoarchaeology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In the late 1970s, the hypothesis originated that earthquakes played a decisive role in the decline of the Mycenaean civilization at the end of the Late Bronze Age. The late excavator of Tiryns in the Argolid/Greece, Klaus Kilian, presented evidence for earthquake-related damage to Mycenaean structures and considered four terracotta figures and two ceramic vessels lying on a floor of a potential cult room (later 12th century B.C.) in the Lower Citadel as “earthquake victims.” The broken figures were confined to a small area on the cult room's floor in front of a bench. We assess the archaeological data and test the plausibility of earthquake-induced toppling of the objects with engineering seismological models. Dimensions and physical properties of the models were taken from the originals. In our simulations the models are virtually placed on a bench, and are exposed to earthquake ground motions based on records from recent Greek earthquakes. We test the artifacts’ toppling behavior and compare the final position of the fallen objects with the original find spots. Statistical analysis of 74,250 model calculations with highly varied ground motion parameters and bench heights reveal only a small probability that the find situation of the objects was caused by an earthquake.
    Geoarchaeology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we employ wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) to characterize construction materials from Formative civic architecture (1000 B.C.E.–C.E. 400), ethnographic mudbricks, and off-site controls from the Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia. The preparation of earthen construction materials for civic buildings can shed light on aspects of community development such as labor organization, resource management, and architectural technologies. We apply geochemical results to reconstructing how public buildings were made as communities moved toward socio-political complexity in this region. However, there are few geochemical studies in the Andes, and little prior scientific analysis of earthen architecture. We therefore tested the efficacy of WDXRF for this region, and developed control materials. Our archaeological samples were selected from two Formative villages, Chiripa and Kala Uyuni. In this study, we performed WDXRF analyses on 63 archaeological and control samples including archaeological floors, walling, plasters, and mortars, as well as contemporary ethnographic walling and topsoils. Elemental signatures for 28 elements clearly distinguished the archaeological flooring, walling, plaster, and mortars from ethnographic and off-site controls. More subtle variations were detected that distinguish study sites and the different material types. Laboratory-calibrated multi-element XRF effectively supports efforts to reconstruct the pathways to social complexity in the Titicaca Basin.
    Geoarchaeology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Previous researchers proposed that trachybasalt temper with “poikilitic” sanidine, found in pottery from the Mesa Verde region of the American Southwest, was procured along the eastern Chuska Mountains. This served as one line of evidence that Chaco Canyon was a regional trade center linked to the Chuska Mountains in the ninth to thirteenth centuries. Recent geologic studies, however, revealed other potential sources for the trachybasalt temper. A comparison of petrographic features and geochemical signatures of poikilitic sanidine in rock samples and potsherds shows no definitive correlation of temper materials and a specific geologic source. Several outcrops of trachybasalt are identified as less viable prospects, but the results do not support the idea that the sanidine-rich temper was exclusively gathered in the Chuska Mountains. This conclusion opens up the possibility that raw materials were gathered from local sources that were more accessible, reducing the dependence on a regional trade center.
    Geoarchaeology 12/2014;
  • Geoarchaeology 09/2014;
  • Geoarchaeology 09/2014;
  • Geoarchaeology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study reviews the occurrence and potential of bryozoans within lithic artifacts and also sets out a methodology for their use in sourcing and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this approach. We present case studies from our own research and from the literature on using bryozoans in sourcing archaeological lithic artifacts. Fossil bryozoans of different ages and clades can be effectively used to determine the material source of lithic artifacts from a variety of prehistoric ages. The case studies included in this report span the stratigraphic range of bryozoans from the Ordovician to the Neogene. The bryozoans came from four different orders: trepostome, fenestrate, cyclostome, and cheilostome. The use of these lithic artifacts ranged back to 25 ka. Although the majority of the fossil bryozoans were incidental in the artifacts, the bryozoans were still useful for determining their original source rock. The improved searchable online paleontologic databases allow for more efficient use of fossil bryozoans to constrain the stratigraphic and paleogeographic distribution of source outcrops. Although generally underutilized in sourcing prehistoric lithic artifacts, it is clear that by analyzing bryozoans, an increased understanding of the lithologic nature of these materials could be gained by the archaeological community.
    Geoarchaeology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: North America's Atlantic Coast has been a focus of human settlement and subsistence for millennia, but sea-level rise, sedimentation, and other processes pose significant challenges for archaeological research. Radiocarbon dating of 31 shell middens near the Rhode River Estuary, Maryland provides an opportunity to evaluate human land use, settlement, and cultural chronologies on the Chesapeake Bay. Sixty calibrated radiocarbon dates on eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) shell and charcoal demonstrate that Native Americans, colonial, and historic peoples harvested oysters and other shellfish from at least 3200 years ago through the 19th century. The number of dated sites increases during the Late Woodland period after about 1000 cal yr B.P., a factor probably related to greater site visibility and preservation, as well as increased human exploitation of the watershed. Accumulation rates for five of the shell middens provide preliminary indications that some of the sites accumulated rapidly suggesting, along with other evidence, that many of the region's shell middens were logistical or perhaps seasonal camps. Our study demonstrates the importance of regional watershed surveys and radiocarbon dating programs to help build and refine cultural chronologies in coastal regions threatened by sea-level rise and other processes.
    Geoarchaeology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the hydrodynamics of the Roman harbor of Portus during the Trajanic period (second century A.D.). We have evaluated the impact of the north-eastern channel on water circulation and sediment resuspension within the harbor in relation to the problem of sediment infilling. We used a 2D numerical model to compute the distribution of the depth-averaged current velocity, bed shear stress, and kinetic energy induced by each of the four prevailing local winds. First, the results confirm the persistent conditions for sediment infilling over the entire western harbor basin, even when the north-eastern channel is operational; these conditions being present for 61.3% (40.3%) of the summer period and up to 68% (44.2%) of the winter period in the south-western harbor basin. Second, the results show that favorable conditions for navigation occur in the central basin, leading to the landing installations, under the S 180°, SE 135°, and NE 22° winds when the north-eastern channel is operational; these conditions being present for 21% of the summer period and 51.3% of the winter period. Inversely, the access to the landing installations with both channels operating remains affected by sediment infilling, for 40.3% of the summer period and 16.7% of the winter period.
    Geoarchaeology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: To clarify unanswered questions of site formation, geology and the archaeology of the Berelekh geoarchaeological complex, a special survey was undertaken in 2009 of the area surrounding the site. Several geological units have been revealed. By establishing the spatial and temporal relationship of these deposits—as well as their age—we have reconstructed the formation history of the Berelekh bone bed. The mammoth bone deposit belongs to a paleochannel. Radiocarbon dating of mammoth remains at Berelekh demonstrates rapid accumulation during the Bølling warming. Human involvement in its formation is, at best, questionable, since there is no real overlap between the radiocarbon dates associated with past human activity, and those of the mammoth bone bed. This study confirms that humans used mammoth bone remains after the bone bed was deposited. Culturally, the Berelekh “site” does not have any relationship to the so-called “Dyuktai culture.” Instead, the Berelekh archaeological finds (side notched stone pendants) show certain similarities to non-microblade terminal Pleistocene assemblages found from Yenisei to Kamchatka. Additionally, the Berelekh complex presents a clear analogy with lithics found in Eastern Beringia. Teardrop-shaped incomplete bifaces found in the assemblage are comparable to the Chindadn points of Alaska. The nature of this “Chindadn connection” is intriguing but it is the only visible cultural link between Western and Eastern Beringia.
    Geoarchaeology 06/2014;
  • Geoarchaeology 06/2014; 29(3).