Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

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 homo-geneity 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. Archaeological taphonomy, perturbation assessment, site formation processes, Palaeolithic.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

https://hal-inrap.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02556746
Contributor : Pascal Bertran Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 8:16:00 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:34:43 PM

File

2020 PALEO Taphonomy_def.pdf
Explicit agreement for this submission

Licence


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-02556746, version 1

Citation

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-02556746⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

36

Files downloads

70