Towards an Archaeobotanical Reference Bank: A Pilot Study for the Construction of an Identification Tool for Macroscopic Plant Remains from Archaeological Deposits

12th November 2013

Jennifer Barker

BA(Hons), Department of Archaeology, Flinders University, Adelaide, June 2000

In Australia, and much of the world, tools for the identification of macroscopic plant remains recovered from archaeological sites are lacking. The research conducted in this pilot study aimed to develop an interactive archaeobotanical identification tool based on plant disseminules (seeds and fruits) that are most likely to be recovered from archaeological deposits in northern Australia.

The archaeobotanical tool uses an innovative new computer software program, LucID Professional, just one example of a more user-friendly, interactive approach to the identification of organisms and objects[1].  The identification tool developed in this study has the potential to be expanded to include macroscopic plant remains for all geographic regions of Australia. I n addition, the use of the LucID program and the methods conducted in this study may be extended to create analytical identification tools for other archaeological material, including microscopic plant remains, lithics, glass and bone.

The archaeobotanical tool developed in this study was tested against plant disseminule specimens recovered during an excavation organised by Claire Smith, of the Droopney rockshelter in the Barunga region of the Northern Territory. The tool was also tested against a more traditional dichotomous key version of the tool, as well as against contemporary botanical specimens.

This research also involved the development of a second interactive ethnobotanical tool based on the same plant species that comprise the archaeobotanical tool. The ethnobotanical tool was designed to aid in the location of the plants in the field, and may also be used for the development of archaeobotanical reference collections.

This work was conducted as part of the Barunga-Wugularr Community Archaeology Project.


[1] Further information regarding LucID Professional can be found at http://wwwlucidcentral.com/
Information  and  links  to  other  interactive  identification  programs are located at http://biodiversity.uno.edu/delta/www/idprogs.htm


 

Barker, J.
Towards an Archaeobotanical Reference Bank: A Pilot Study for the Construction of an Identification Tool for Macroscopic Plant Remains from Archaeological Deposits
2001
53
53
Editorial
Download
You must be a member to download the attachment ( Login / Sign up )