Using foraminifera to distinguish between natural and cultural shell deposits in coastal eastern Australia

Rosendahl, Daniel, Ulm, Sean and Weisler, Marshall I. (2007) Using foraminifera to distinguish between natural and cultural shell deposits in coastal eastern Australia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 34 10: 1584-1593. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2006.11.013

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Author Rosendahl, Daniel
Ulm, Sean
Weisler, Marshall I.
Title Using foraminifera to distinguish between natural and cultural shell deposits in coastal eastern Australia
Journal name Journal of Archaeological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-4403
Publication date 2007-10-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jas.2006.11.013
Volume 34
Issue 10
Start page 1584
End page 1593
Total pages 10
Place of publication London
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
430200 Archaeology and Prehistory
430207 Archaeological Science
430201 Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherer Societies (incl. Pleistocene Archaeology)
750805 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage
210102 Archaeological Science
Abstract Foraminifera are single cell protozoa that are ubiquitous in marine environments. Although the hard casings, or tests, of foraminifera are routinely studied in the earth sciences, they have been little studied by archaeologists, despite their potential to contribute to understandings of coastal site formation processes and palaeoenvironments. In this study techniques and methods of foraminiferal analysis are developed and applied to the problem of distinguishing between natural and cultural marine shell deposits, using the Mort Creek Site Complex, central Queensland, Australia, as a case study. Results allow separation of natural and cultural deposits based on foraminiferal density. Natural deposits were found to have > 1000 foraminifera per 100 g of sediment, while cultural deposits exhibited < 50 foraminifera per 100 g of sediment. Results allow us to better understand site formation processes at the Mort Creek Site Complex and highlight the potential of foraminiferal analyses in the interpretation of terrestrial marine deposits. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Anthropology
Archaeology
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
foraminifera
site formation processes
shell midden
chenier
taphonomy
Sediments
Holocene
Pacific
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

 
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Created: Mon, 11 Feb 2008, 20:34:45 EST by Ms Kirsty Fraser on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit