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Thin Section Soil Micromorphology

Sampling

  Thin section soil micromorphology is a   microscopic method that investigates   undisturbed soils and sediments. Thin   sections are produced from soils and   sediments and their analysis provides   information on the natural and built   environment. With the aid of a polarizing   microscope, the various building

components (organic and non-organic materials) of the soils and sediments and the effect of humans and natural elements can be studied. Thin section soil micromorphology is one of the numerous methods of soil sciences, which is most widely applied in archaeology today. If this method is used in the case of natural soils, information can be gained to the reconstruction of former environments.

However, if the method is used for the analysis of anthropogenic sediments, data on (pre)historic everyday life (activities, use of space) can be collected. In the latter case the method is called thin section soil-micromorphology of anthropogenic sediments, as components (e.g. ceramic and daub fragments, cereals) exclusively connected to human presence will appear.

Thin section soil micromorphological analysis of the Százhalombatta-Földvár environment provided additional information on the settling of the area. The intact woodland became disturbed as a consequence of human appearance. Trees were cut down and houses, working areas were prepared during the Bronze Age. The microscopic analysis of ancient building materials and building techniques gave additions to the reconstruction of houses and buildings. Microscopic evidence of human activities and the use of space is also investigated at Százhalombatta-Földvár. This is highly important during the reconstruction of everyday life of ancient cultures. So far, evidences of various domestic activities (e.g. food preparation, firing, maintenance, trash disposal, animal husbandry) could be detected at the tell.