book cover

H 245 x W 175 mm

148 pages

Illustrated throughout in black & white with 7 plates in colour

Published Oct 2017

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781784916879

Digital: 9781784916886

Recommend to a librarian

Geology; Archaeologists; Introduction; Glossary; Technical; Rocks; Minerals; Maps

Geology for Archaeologists

A short introduction

By J.R.L. Allen

Includes PDF

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(institutional use)

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This short introduction aims to provide archaeologists of all backgrounds with a grounding in the principles, materials, and methods of geology. Each chapter ends with a short reading list, and many have selected case-histories in illustration of the points made. Included is a glossary of technical terms.



1. Why Geology Matters ;
2. Minerals ;
3. Rocks and Sediments ;
4. Geological Maps ;
5. Geological Stratigraphy ;
6. Geology and Landscape ;
7. Rivers and Water Management ;
8. Sea-Level and Coasts ;
9. Stone for Building ;
10. Stone for Tools and Implements ;
11. Pottery and Brick ;
12. Metallurgical Landscapes ;
Glossary ;

About the Author

Emeritus Professor John Allen is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading. He took a degree in Geology at the University of Sheffield and for many years taught Geology at Reading, where his chief interests were in the sedimentology of fluvial deposits (especially the Devonian Old Red Sandstone) and in sedimentary processes and structures. In the 1980s he turned his attention to modern estuarine sediments, and became increasingly interested in the archaeology of British coastal environments, especially those of the Severn and other estuaries, where he showed in collaboration with professional archaeologists that an appreciation of geological processes is essential to an understanding of the archaeological sites and their landscapes. His contributions to postgraduate courses in Geoarchaeology at Reading stress the importance of an understanding of geological principles, maps, and materials, especially rocks and minerals, to the refinement and resolution of numerous archaeological problems.