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Theorizing the Biographies of Wetland Settlement Utilizing Insights from Micromorphological Analysis

Authors
Publisher
Oxbow
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Archaeology
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Literature

Abstract

The biographical approach has become a well-recognized and adopted method to theorize the establishment and development of settlements in accord with their human occupation. Recent proposals for such a biographical model for the lake-dwellings of the northern Alpine region have been largely based upon theoretical and hypothetical considerations. Lake-dwelling sites in the Alpine region generally have excellent levels of organic preservation, particularly for artefacts and building foundations, but with poor representation of building superstructures. They do however have high potential for archaeology micromorphological soil analysis, with sediment deposits providing indications of both human activity and environmental conditions within the settlement. Using specific examples from Switzerland, this paper intends to highlight some of the contributions that micromorphology can provide to the consideration of settlement biographies. The biographical approach has become a well-recognized and adoptedmethod to theorize the establishment and development of settlements inaccord with their human occupation. Recent proposals for such abiographical model for the lake-dwellings of the northern Alpine regionhave been largely based upon theoretical and hypothetical considerations.Lake-dwelling sites in the Alpine region generally have excellent levels oforganic preservation, particularly for artefacts and building foundations, butwith poor representation of building superstructures. They do however havehigh potential for archaeology micromorphological soil analysis, withsediment deposits providing indications of both human activity andenvironmental conditions within the settlement. Using specific examplesfrom Switzerland, this paper intends to highlight some of the contributionsthat micromorphology can provide to the consideration of settlementbiographies.

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