Archaeobotanical analysis

Archaeobotanical analysis in the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield

Directed by Professor Glynis Jones. A high quality, efficient and professional service for the processing and analysis of archaeobotanical samples. Our experienced specialists have worked as archaeobotanical analysts for commercial units and internationally recognised research projects, such as the Stonehenge Riverside Project, and the Çatalhöyük excavations.

Archaeological plant remains can provide important information on human diet, trade, economy, agricultural practices, building construction, animal diet, and local environmental history. The analysis of these remains is an essential tool for investigating past human activities, and is now an established practice in commercial archaeology.

All work is carried out using laboratory facilities, comprehensive reference collections and specialist knowledge within SCALE, the Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and ancient Land-usEin the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield

   We offer specialist analysis of charred and waterlogged plant macroremains, wood charcoal, pollen and diatoms including -

  • On-site sampling and processing following Historic England guidelines for Environmental Archaeology

  • Equipment hire

  • Advice on sampling strategies

  • Dedicated facilities for in-house sample processing

  • Samples from field evaluations processed and rapidly assessed for a range of palaeoenvironmental evidence

  • Sample residues sorted for ecofacts and artefacts

  • Recommendations for suitable further analysis targeted at selected samples

  • Selection and identification of palaeoenvironmental remains suitable for scientific dating

  • Reports written according to Historic England Guidelines

  • Full analysis of plant materials taken to publication standard

  • High resolution archaeobotanical photography

  • Dedicated laboratory facilities for processing and analysis of pollen and diatom samples