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Geoarchaeology

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Geoarchaeology is the application of methods and theories from the Earth sciences (geomorphology, soil science, sedimentology) to archaeological questions. We provide comprehensive field and laboratory services for cultural resource compliance and research projects.  Laboratory services are conducted through the Geoarchaeological and Paleoenvironmental Services Center (GPSC), a UT Core Facility.

Phase I, II and III Geomorphological and Geoarchaeological Services include:

  • Geomorphic predictive modeling
  • Landscape assessment to determine the potential for buried sites or stable landforms for archaeological surveys in alluvial or colluvial settings
  • Hydraulic coring and backhoe trenching
  • Reconstruction of regional, local and site specific depositional histories and formation processes
  • Standardized soil and sedimentological description and systematic soil sampling (We hold an international soils permit to allow for the storage and transfer of US and international soil samples)
  • Physical and chemical laboratory analyses, including PSA, LOI, C/N, bulk geochemical and elemental (XRF, ICP), stable isotopes, SEM, and microartifacts analyses
  • Micromorphological analysis of soils and sediments, including sample collection, embedding and thin sectioning, and detailed petrographic analysis

Our staff has extensive experience and training in various aspects of archaeology, geomorphology and soil science in the Southeastern, Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern US and beyond. We are also able to call on other specialists from the ARL to assist in GIS predictive modeling, zooarchaeological, archaeobotanical, bioarchaeological, geophysical and artifact analyses.

Contact Information

Please direct any questions regarding geoarchaeological field or laboratory services to:

Howard Cyr, MS

Archaeological Research Laboratory
Geoarchaeological and Palaeoenvironmental Services Center
5723 Middlbrook Pike, Room 237
Knoxville, TN 37921

E-mail: hcyr@utk.edu
Phone: 865-974-9645

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