Introducing Archaeological Science

Kate Britton, Michael P. Richards

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


As the study of the past through its material remains, archaeology has a long tradition of drawing on the sciences, especially the natural sciences. The multifaceted approach required in the study of human societies, and the focus on the material – artefacts and ‘ecofacts’, manufactured and natural – means that, perhaps more than any other academic subject, archaeology relies heavily on a diverse range of fields outside of the discipline (Pollard and Heron 2008). The plethora of scientific techniques used in modern archaeological science reflects the varied aspects of life in the past they are utilised to investigate (Brothwell and Pollard 2001: xviii). The demands of inferring of activities, motivations, behaviours, ideas and beliefs of individuals in the past requires multistranded, complementary approaches. As a consequence, archaeological science enters into many areas of the study of the past and is a fundamental component of the investigation of past societies and human behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeological Science
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction
EditorsMichael Richards, Kate Britton
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781139013826
ISBN (Print)9780521144124
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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