Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Conference papers

Finding, Analyzing, and Interpreting Organic Matter in Archaeology: A Complex Subject

Abstract : Reconstructing the history of organic matter in archaeological context presents a challenge. Organic chemical signatures are the consequence of complex natural and anthropic processes that must be decoded in order to understand their hypothetical significations. This task follows different epistemological, methodological, and practical choices and needs to integrate knowledge from different disciplines. As a consequence, the characterization of the different molecules is related to the original question, the methods put in practice, and differential hypothetical environmental processes. For example, soils, ceramics or stones, may contain organic matter from different anthropic activities that can be unique or repeated. Further, these artifacts can subsequently be exposed to different kinds of natural interactions. Experimental approaches try to solve these difficulties but sometimes can lead to new and interesting questions about supposed paradigmatic explanations. We present here some case studies showing this complexity and their evolving answers.
Document type :
Conference papers
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Catherine Gorlini <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 3:06:12 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:40:56 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02147206, version 1


Ramiro Javier March. Finding, Analyzing, and Interpreting Organic Matter in Archaeology: A Complex Subject. Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Society for American Archaeology, Mar 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. ⟨hal-02147206⟩



Record views