archaeobotany

 

People and plants are and have always been connected very closely. Plants provide us with food, medicine, fabric, construction material and much more. Archaeobotanists aim to reconstruct the use of plants in prehistoric contexts. How did people interact with their environment? Which plants were chosen for what purpose, how were they collected, processed and valued?

My studies focus on macroscopic plant residues such as fruits, seeds, vegetative plant parts, wood and charcoal. As these are not always visible to the unaided eye, sediment samples are taken from excavation contexts. Thereby, the mineral components and organic material are being separated. The plant material is then sorted and identified with the microscope in the laboratory.

I consider the context as equally important as the finds themselves. Therefore, my investigations also consider the palynological (local and regional vegetation) and archaeological record (associated finds in the same feature) as well as the properties of the surrounding sediment (micromorphology), where available.

My research interests focus on the role plants played in day-to-day life. Especially fascinating for me is the use and processing of wild plants. Within the scope of my doctoral studies, I am analysing samples from Bronze Age settlement contexts in the Transural steppe zone in Russia but there are no general geographical or chronological limitations in archaeobotany. For example, I also investigated plant remains from a medieval latrine in Frankfurt.

See my archaeobotanical services, if you are interested in me broadening your archaeological results.