Geological, geomorphological and pedological evaluation of the site

Geological, geomorphological and pedological evaluation of the site

Terrain reconnaissance combined with knowledge of topographic, geomorphological and geological data is one of the basic steps in assessing the archaeological site or possible formation processes that fundamentally influence the origin and preservation of the archaeological record (Macphail, Goldberg, 2018; Karkanas, Goldberg, 2019). This evaluation includes, first and foremost, a detailed study of data such as historical, topographic, geomorphological and, last but not least, detailed geological and soil maps, or other sources from the Geofond repository. Another option is to confront the morphology of the site with a geophysical record, if available.

The second phase is a detailed reconnaissance of the wider surroundings of the site in order to detect the sequence of formation processes that led to the creation of the current morphology of the site. For this purpose, it is possible to use pedological sondages or small trenches in order to detect the lithological composition of sediments. The time spent on reconnaissance or the amount of sondage work depends on the extent of the site and the complexity of the sedimentary record.

The output is then an assessment of the site in terms of possible formation processes that are detectable in the site more or less non-destructively and at the same time an assessment of the suitability of other methodological approaches.

This geoarchaeological method is in the frame of the ERCA Centre guaranteed by Associate Professor Mgr. Lenka Lisá, PhD., from the Geological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague.



Karkanas P.T., Goldberg, P., 2019: Reconstructing Archaeological Sites: Understanding the Geoarchaeological Matrix. Willey Blackwell.

Macphail, R.I., Goldberg P., 2018: Applied Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology. Cambridge University Press.