By A. G. Brown
This finished technical guide is designed to provide archaeologists the required history wisdom in environmental technological know-how required to excavate and research archaeological websites by means of rivers and on floodplains. Bringing jointly info at the evolution and exploitation of floodplain and river landscapes, this article attracts on examples from Britain, Europe, North the United States and Australasia. an enormous subject matter is the interplay among climatic and cultural forces and the transformation of riverine environments.
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Extra info for Alluvial Geoarchaeology: Floodplain Archaeology and Environmental Change (Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology)
The archaeological importance of the alluvial environment has favoured interdisciplinary approaches as typified by the surveys of CatonThompson and Gardner (1932) and Sandford and Arkell (1939) and later by the work of Butzer. Butzer's (1976) 'cultural ecology' approach is quintessentially geoarchaeological, including studies of valley sediments, geomorphology and ecology. The valley which Butzer describes is bounded by limestone hills to the west and cliffs to the east (Figure Intro. 2). It is floored by Pleistocene sand and gravel and there has been a long-term tendency for the river to migrate towards the eastern side of the valley.
The abnormally high floods around 1800 BC ushered in a wetter period which lasted about six centuries and ended abruptly in 1150 BC. From then to the present the Nile has fluctuated around the modern mean with notable periods of higher and lower floods superimposed upon this trend (Butzer, 1976). One example is the seventeenth century, when very high levels of the yearly floods indicating heavy summer rains in Ethiopia, with low levels at other times of the year, suggested less equatorial rain.
We now know that, within broad limits, bankfull is very variable, both reach-to-reach and within reaches, and that it can change, even over short periods of time. There are two important assumptions that underpin the Wolman and Leopold (1957) model. e. both bed and floodplain aggradation) and the second is that the channel migrates across the entire width of the floodplain. Most channels do not do this, especially those of larger rivers; instead they oscillate across a relatively small belt or belts of the floodplain.
Alluvial Geoarchaeology: Floodplain Archaeology and Environmental Change (Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology) by A. G. Brown