Title

Macro-Botanical Recovery Rates Using Flotation of Sediments from the Sunrise Ridge Borrow Pit Site

Presenter Information

Patrick Rennaker

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The paleo-ethnobotany literature on recovering macro-botanical remains from archaeological sites suggests that the pre-treatment of floatation sediment samples will affect recovery rates. In order to determine the best approach at the Sunrise Ridge Borrow Pit Site (45PI408), we conducted a set of experiments with comparable samples of freshly excavated sediment. This site has a diverse set of features that contain large amounts of visible plant remains. Knowing which recovery technique will produce the best identification rates will greatly facilitate comparisons. We collected 13 four-liter samples of freshly excavated sediment during the summer of 2012. Each freshly excavated sample was split into four one-liter samples, one of which was immediately processed in a flotation tank. Two samples were dried, one to be floated after drying, and the other to be gently dry sieved through a nested screen stack. Preliminary results show that samples sent through the nested screens recover greater amounts of charcoal compared to either of the floated samples (fresh and dried). Alternatively, there are differential recovery rates in samples from the flotation system. These results are discussed in relation to the amount of time it takes to process the samples.

Poster Number

4

Faculty Mentor(s)

Patrick McCutcheon

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

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May 16th, 8:20 AM May 16th, 10:50 AM

Macro-Botanical Recovery Rates Using Flotation of Sediments from the Sunrise Ridge Borrow Pit Site

SURC Ballroom C/D

The paleo-ethnobotany literature on recovering macro-botanical remains from archaeological sites suggests that the pre-treatment of floatation sediment samples will affect recovery rates. In order to determine the best approach at the Sunrise Ridge Borrow Pit Site (45PI408), we conducted a set of experiments with comparable samples of freshly excavated sediment. This site has a diverse set of features that contain large amounts of visible plant remains. Knowing which recovery technique will produce the best identification rates will greatly facilitate comparisons. We collected 13 four-liter samples of freshly excavated sediment during the summer of 2012. Each freshly excavated sample was split into four one-liter samples, one of which was immediately processed in a flotation tank. Two samples were dried, one to be floated after drying, and the other to be gently dry sieved through a nested screen stack. Preliminary results show that samples sent through the nested screens recover greater amounts of charcoal compared to either of the floated samples (fresh and dried). Alternatively, there are differential recovery rates in samples from the flotation system. These results are discussed in relation to the amount of time it takes to process the samples.