We provide cost-effective sampling strategies which allow us to reconstruct past vegetation, climate, and ecological conditions, and understand how plants were utilised in the past. The material recovered can include ancient plants, animals, and other organic materials. In our archaeobotanical laboratory we process samples and the ‘eco-factual’ material recovered is then analysed by in-house or external specialists. Plant macrofossils from samples help to determine the diet and economy of a site and to reconstruct the local vegetation. Charcoal and wood analysis can identify fuel selection and use, and woodland management, as well as characterising the wider landscape.
Our services include analysis of pollen, plant macrofossils, insect remains, and other biological indicators to reconstruct the environment of a particular region during a specific period of the past.
We have designed and implemented palaeoenvironmental investigations on a range of dry and waterlogged sites, mostly across the Midlands and Yorkshire but also across the UK and in France and Norway. The material has come from sites dating to the Upper Palaeolithic through to post-medieval and also modern, and on projects ranging from small excavations to multi-county pipeline schemes.
We are also able to advise on environmental archaeology generally, through either office-based or on-site consultations. The service includes the selection and identification of material suitable for submission for radiocarbon dating, and liaison with the dating laboratories.