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TIPS FOR CONDUCTING QUALITY MACRO-BOTANICAL STUDIES

GET INPUT

  • Involve an archeobotanist from the earliest stages of Phase II and Phase III archaeological projects to contribute to the overall site research design and to develop an efficient and effective sampling strategy

COLLECT AND STORE ADEQUATE SAMPLES

  • Collect adequate size soil samples (2 liter minimum)
  • Double-bag soil samples
  • Collect unscreened cultural sediment. Collect from the base of general excavation levels, from quadrant of sectioned features
  • Collect ³control² samples from non-cultural sediments
  • Label soil samples with interior and exterior tags
  • Air dry soil samples (in the shade) prior to long term storage

PROCESS EFFICIENTLY

  • Make certain that samples are dry prior to flotation processing
  • Perform a recovery test specific to site soils and your flotation machine
  • Process site soils together, clean flotation machine between batches of samples (different site loci, different sites)
  • Include a clear description of flotation procedures in technical report

COMMUNICATE

  • Provide your archeobotanist with detailed information on sampled contexts (feature descriptions, dates, associated artifacts, soil type)
  • Offer as much information as you can about the physical aspects of the site (topography, drainage, present-day vegetative cover)
  • Share information about sub-surface disturbance (rodent burrowing, bioturbation, tree-root disturbance)
  • Clearly identify key research issues developed for your project
  • Emphasize and foster communication between sub-consultants: geomorphological, pollen, and macro-floral work is often out-sourced. Collaboration between specialists can be highly productive.

Justine McKnight, Archeobotanical Consultant, is woman owned and operated. The business currently maintains certifications with the following agencies:

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation - DBE Certification No. 266M
Delaware Department of Transportation - DBE Certification No. C-587
Maryland Department of Transportation - MBE Certification No. 97-219
Virginia Department of Business Assistance - Certification No. 042032