Geoarchaeologists combine earth sciences and archaeological techniques to analyse buried soils and sediments both on land and underwater. This tells us what past environments were like and allows us to understand how they developed and changed over time. 
Changes to the environment occur naturally due to climatic variation but they can also be attributed to human impact, such as woodland clearance and land drainage. Coupled with environmental analyses geoarchaeological techniques can provide a rich source of information and a unique perspective on the development of archaeological deposits and site formation.
Wessex Archaeology’s geoarchaeologists are part of our Geoservices Team and have access to a wide range of analytical tools and processing facilities. They have considerable experience of survey techniques including the mechanical excavation of deep geoarchaeological test pits, borehole and vibrocore surveys, hand auger surveys using dutch and gouge augers, and recording exposures in quarries. They can also create computer generated 2D and 3D deposit models.
Wessex Archaeology is one of the leading innovators in this emerging area and we work in partnership with our local universities to ensure access to a comprehensive range of Facilities. We are the industry partner for a NERC CASE PhD studentship in geoarchaeology with the universities of Cambridge and Durham.

Key Capabilities

  • Advice & sample strategy development
  • Monolith, kubiena & bulk sampling
  • Test pitting, borehole & vibrocore surveys
  • Dutch & gouge auger surveys
  • Site visits & in situ deposit interpretation
  • Computer generated 2D & 3D deposit modelling
  • Access to X-Ray Flourescence & Electron Microscopy facilities
  • Analysis & reporting for publication