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PERTURBATION ASSESSMENT IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AS PART OF THE TAPHONOMIC STUDY: A REVIEW OF METHODS USED TO DOCUMENT THE IMPACT OF NATURAL PROCESSES ON SITE FORMATION AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS.

Abstract : In the context of archaeological taphonomy, perturbation assessment aims at characterizing the processes that have affected a set of archaeological remains (lithic pieces, faunal remains, plant material) after their abandonment, and at analysing the consequences of these processes on archaeological interpretations. The processes range from sedimentary to bio-pedological factors and weathering. The main questions that perturbation assessment attempts to answer concern (1) the preservation of the original (anthropogenic) spatial organisation of the remains, (2) the homogeneity and integrity of the assemblage, and (3) the state of preservation of the individual remains. This paper gives an overview of the main processes involved in site formation with an emphasis on the European Palaeolithic, and the most frequent issues archaeologists have to face. Available analytical tools such as fabrics, grain size composition, and refits of lithic and bone material are detailed together with other possible criteria. Overall, we argue that perturbation assessment is a mandatory stage in the archaeological study of any site and that substantial progress in the understanding of site formation processes will arise from further experimental work in active contexts.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03136540
Contributor : Pascal Bertran <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 4:34:14 PM
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Pascal Bertran, Dominique Todisco, Jean-Guillaume Bordes, Emmanuel Discamps, Luc Vallin. PERTURBATION ASSESSMENT IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AS PART OF THE TAPHONOMIC STUDY: A REVIEW OF METHODS USED TO DOCUMENT THE IMPACT OF NATURAL PROCESSES ON SITE FORMATION AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS.. PALEO Revue d'Archéologie Préhistorique, Société des amis du Musée national de préhistoire et de la recherche archéologique — SAMRA, 2019, 30 (1), pp.52-75. ⟨hal-03136540⟩

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