Using geoarchaeological deposit modelling as a framework for archaeological evaluation and mitigation in alluvial environments

Christopher Carey, Andy Howard, Robin Jackson, Antony Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pace of anthropogenic development on floodplains and adjacent valley floors is still increasing and in many countries this is accompanied by a requirement for heritage mitigation and management. The result is an increased demand for effective and efficient archaeological evaluation and mitigation strategies, which can only be achieved in alluvial environments through the application of geoarchaeological methods. This paper uses lidar data combined with deep geophysical survey (electrical resistivity), gouge coring and limited borehole data to derive a three dimensional geoarchaeological deposit model, which provided a vehicle for archaeological evaluation and mitigation. Significantly, the results of this deposit model are compared to the results from the subsequent archaeological evaluation trenching, a methodological next step that has not received sufficient attention within the (geo)archaeological literature. The deposit model is refined using radiocarbon dating and artefactual evidence derived from the archaeological evaluation trenching. The results demonstrate how geoarchaeological deposit modelling can be integrated with archaeological evaluation trenching and provides discussion of the importance and difficulties of integrating geoarchaeological sediment units (archives) with archaeological contextual excavation data, with conventional stratigraphic matrices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-673
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


  • Alluvial geoarchaeology
  • Archaeological evaluation
  • Deposit modelling
  • Chronostratigraphy


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