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Archaeology at the micro-scale: micromorphology and phytoliths at a Swahili stonetown

AuthorsSulas, Federica; Madella, Marco CSIC ORCID
Domestic space
Swahili archaeology
Issue Date2012
CitationArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences (4/2) : 145-159 (2012)
AbstractGeoarchaeological and archaeobotanical techniques are increasingly applied to the study of urban and domestic space. However, they are seldom performed as part of an integrative approach, where the soil and botanical micro-records are used together. This paper presents the preliminary results of ongoing research at Songo Mnara in Tanzania that combines customised intra-site soil macro- and micromorphological analyses, chemical analysis and the study of phytoliths. The research is part of a multidisciplinary project on the use of urban space in Swahili stonetowns. By eliciting multiple datasets from Songo Mnara, this paper illustrates the potential of integrating geoarchaeology and archaeobotany to investigate the use of space in urban contexts. The approach is a novelty within the context of Swahili archaeology and an emerging one in Africa.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12520-012-0090-7
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