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One, two, three phytoliths: assessing the minimum phytolith sum for archaeological studies

Autor Zurro Hernández, Débora
Palabras clave Phytolith
Count size
Fecha de publicación 2017
Citación Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences : https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-017-0479-4 (2017)
ResumenThe number of phytolith studies has increased steadily in the last decades in palaeoecological as well as archaeological research, and phytolith analysis is currently recognised as a proper area of expertise within archaeobotany. This has led towards a strengthening in the standardisation of the different steps involved in analysis; e.g. sampling strategies, laboratory extraction or processing of plant material/soils for the creation of reference collections. In spite of this, counting procedures remain one of the areas that could be further developed. The aim of this paper is to assess representativeness of phytolith count size in archaeological samples and specifically to assess whether an increase in total number of individuals counted influences the number or distribution of morphotypes observed. Two statistical tests are performed to evaluate the representativeness of count size: phytolith sum variability analysis (PSVA) and morphotype accumulation curve (MAC). The analyses show the relationship among the number of counted phytoliths, the variability (that is, the number of different morphotypes identified) and the stabilisations of the MACs. Results allow us to support the standard count size in phytolith studies, which ranges from 250 to 300 particles. Together with a quick scan, this strategy should produce a precise and clear phytolith assemblage for archaeological studies.
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-017-0479-4
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/156281
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