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Phytolyth Analysis - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125571753, 9781483297118

Phytolyth Analysis

1st Edition

An Archaeological and Geological Perspective

Author: Dolores Piperno
eBook ISBN: 9781483297118
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th December 1987
Page Count: 280
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This is a methodological guide to the use of plant opal phytolith analysis in paleoenvironmental and paleoecological reconstruction. It is the first book-length treatment of this promising technique, which has undergone rapid development within the past few years and is now beginning to be used with considerable success by paleobotanists who serve the archaeological and paleontological research communities. It will be mandatory reading for all paleobotanists, paleoecologists, and archaeological scientists.


Graduate and professional archaeologists, paleobotanists, paleocologists, ethnobotanists, and palynologists.

Table of Contents

The History of Phytolith Research. The Production, Deposition, and Dissolution of Phytoliths. Phytolith Morphology. Field Techniques and Research Design. Laboratory Techniques. The Interpretation of Phytolith Assemblages: Method and Theory. The Role of Phytoliths in Archaeological Reconstruction. The Role of Phytoliths in Regional Paleoecology. Plates. Appendix. Bibliography. Index.


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1987
28th December 1987
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Dolores Piperno

Dolores Piperno works at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Her research includes the study of Late Pleistocene and Holocene environments and subsistence in tropical biomes through the analysis of micro-botanical remains (phytoliths and pollen), with emphasis on adaptations to the Neotropical forest.

Affiliations and Expertise

Temple University


@qu:"...Packed with information... Dr. Piperno's book has brought the science of phytolith analysis out of the realm of mystery and placed it on a level with palynology and other important disciplines. Through this book she has defined and explained a new discipline, discussed techniques, included sections of photographs and taxonomic keys, and by using convincing examples has shown us how and why it works." @source:--AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STRATIGRAPHIC PALYNOLOGY @qu:"Piperno has provided both the archaeologists and the paleoecologist with a valuable treatise on the potentials and limitations of phytolith analysis. The high quality of this book makes it essential reading for archaeobotanists as well as archaeologists wishing to learn about the state of the art in phytolith research. The volume will stand as a reference work for many years to come, and, hopefully, will stimulate further basic research in the field of plant phytolith analysis." @source:--ARTIC AND ALPINE RESEARCH @qu:"This is perhaps the only example, at least in recent times, of achaeological science research being applied to other disciplines... Phytolith Analysis is a wide-ranging book which covers all aspects of this area of archaeological research, and though aimed at the specialist in particular, should prove to be of interest to the general reader in archaeology." @source:--NEXUS @qu:"The great strength of this book is that it legitimates and gives prominence to a group of microfossils about which there has been much detracting myth...Phytolith research has come of age--again (it has already had more than one surge of popularity historically)--and this book will help spread the news." @source:--Edward E.C. Clebsch, University of Tennessee, Department of Botany in ECOLOGY @qu:"This book is an excellent summary of phytolith analysis to date and presents the case for acceptance of phytolith analysis as an important palaeoecological tool." @source:--Susan Mulholland & George Rapp, Jr., University of Minnesota, Duluth in ANTIQUITY

Ratings and Reviews