Ethnopalynological applications in land and water based archaeology
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Ethnopalynology is a specialty within palynology that centers specifically on past and present palynological data related to humans. Palynological data may be a significant tool to archaeologists if the applications and limitations are clearly understood. The following is a compilation of historical references, information on the processing procedures used in pollen research, the types of samples that are appropriate for palynological analysis within the discipline of archaeology, and examples of how palynological data can answer some questions regarding diet, the environment, building materials and chronological data. An extensive literature review was performed and revealed incongruities and areas that could be improved upon. This dissertation is a result of that research. Experimentation with palynological processing procedures indicate that commonly used methodologies may be flawed and should be reviewed regularly. New methodologies in the dissolution of resins, or plant exudates, is a relatively new application for pollen research and an area where there is a potential for future growth. Palynological applications to archaeology are beginning to expand in previously unknown directions. The extrication of pollen from plant exudates or resin is only one new area of research. This and other avenues are still waiting to be explored.
Marshall, Dawn Marie (2007). Ethnopalynological applications in land and water based archaeology. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from