Phytoliths: A Comprehensive Guide for Archaeologists and Paleoecologists (Hardback)
  • Phytoliths: A Comprehensive Guide for Archaeologists and Paleoecologists (Hardback)
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Phytoliths: A Comprehensive Guide for Archaeologists and Paleoecologists (Hardback)

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£120.00
Hardback 248 Pages / Published: 30/01/2006
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The study of phytoliths-inorganic silica remnants plants leave behind when they die and decay-has developed dramatically over the last twenty years. New publications have documented a diverse array of phytoliths from many regions around the globe, while new understandings have emerged as to how and why plants produce phytoliths. Together, these developments make phytoliths a powerful tool in reconstructing past environments and human uses of plants. In Phytoliths, Dolores Piperno makes sense of the discipline for both those working directly with phytoliths in the field or the lab as well as for those who rely on the results of phytolith studies for their own research. Including over a hundred images, Piperno's book will be of great benefit to archaeologists and paleobotanists in the classroom or the lab.

Publisher: AltaMira Press,U.S.
ISBN: 9780759103849
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 925 g
Dimensions: 287 x 224 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book makes it abundantly clear that phytolith analysis in archaeology and paleoecology has come of age. Not only does it demonstrate that phytolith studies are an essential part of any comprehensive excavation program, it compellingly outlines the 'state of the art' of phytolith research and its very broad applications. Piperno has produced a comprehensive guide to phytolith studies which weaves together both the practical side of a how-to manual with the rich diversity of phytolith applications in archaeology and paleoecology. This volume sets the agenda for current and future phytolith studies, and is an essential text for both professional archaeologists and students. -- Arlene M. Rosen, Institute of Archaeology, University College London
The terms Dolores Piperno and Phytolith Analysis are nearly synonymous. Dr. Piperno has devoted her career to phytolith research and pioneered many of the techniques and interpretations that are now standard. Her 1988 book on phytoliths set the path for others to follow. Now, nearly two decades later her new edition includes a vast array of new information, techniques, keys, and a bibliography that will guide students and professionals alike for decades to come. -- Vaughn M. Bryant, Director, Palynology Laboratory Texas A & M
This book is useful to archeologists and palaeobotanists in the classroom or the laboratory as the title suggests....The edition is careful and the coverage exhaustive. The book is good and is strongly recommended. * Economic Biology *
Dolores Piperno's Phytoliths, is not only a revision of her earlier 1988 compendium of methods, analytical requirements and interpretative applications of the small silica bodies that form within many plant families and become distributed within the environment, it is also a complete guide to the current knowledge that has been gained about plant domestication and use in prehistory over the past 20 years. Piperno is one of the world's experts on this important addition to archaeological data gathering. The well-referenced data and methodologies within this work illustrate her central place within the archaeobotanical and archaeological disciplines (as well as the ecological discipline). Not only does she provide detailed and now standardized terminology on key morphological descriptive aspects of the bodies, essential for comparisons between scholars, but she also provides a thorough botanical discussion of their purpose and place within a plants life. The families and plant organs where phytoliths occurdiffer widely and now we have a centralized list of their likely distribution. This will allow all archaeologists quicker, more productive access to phytoliths in their own research. It provides all of the core data that are required for collection, curat -- Christine A. Hastorf, University of California-Berkeley
Dolores Piperno's Phytoliths, is not only a revision of her earlier 1988 compendium of methods, analytical requirements and interpretative applications of the small silica bodies that form within many plant families and become distributed within the environment, it is also a complete guide to the current knowledge that has been gained about plant domestication and use in prehistory over the past 20 years. Piperno is one of the world's experts on this important addition to archaeological data gathering. The well-referenced data and methodologies within this work illustrate her central place within the archaeobotanical and archaeological disciplines (as well as the ecological discipline). Not only does she provide detailed and now standardized terminology on key morphological descriptive aspects of the bodies, essential for comparisons between scholars, but she also provides a thorough botanical discussion of their purpose and place within a plants life. The families and plant organs where phytoliths occur differ widely and now we have a centralized list of their likely distribution. This will allow all archaeologists quicker, more productive access to phytoliths in their own research. It provides all of the core data that are required for collection, curation, processing, documentation and analysis. For archaeologists concerned with plant use and plant domestication, this book will be essential. Phytolith studies are now ongoing around the world, in all types of environments and archaeological contexts. A crucial locus of research for phytolith analysis is plant domestication. Chapter 3 covers the major plants that have diagnostic phytoliths and the new, standardized identification criteria. In this chapter Piperno systematically covers the quantitative data that define the wild and domestic varieties, including multiple examples from different geographical regions. She highlights the new evidence we have for important domestic plant histories. These key plants are maize, squashes and gourds, bananas, -- Christine A. Hastorf, University of California-Berkeley

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