Insects as palaeoenvironmental and archaeological indicators

Engels, S. and Whitehouse, N. (2023) Insects as palaeoenvironmental and archaeological indicators. In: Pollard, A. M., Armitage, R. A. and Makarewicz, C. A. (eds.) Handbook of Archaeological Sciences, 2nd edition. Wiley, pp. 187-210. ISBN 9781119592044 (doi: 10.1002/9781119592112.ch10)

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Insects are an incredibly diverse class of animals, with probably over one million species described and estimates of total species richness ranging between 3 and 80 million. This chapter summarizes the most common applications of insects as palaeoenvironmental and archaeological indicators. Many wetlands form sedimentary environments where organic-rich material accumulates with time, thus forming natural archives. Insect remains can be preserved in these sediments and can be used to provide information on environmental conditions in which human activity took place. The most suitable method to retrieve sediments for study differs based on the nature of the sediment, the accessibility, the age and compaction of the sediment, and so on. One of the main goals of analysing subfossil insect assemblages is to reconstruct past environmental conditions, which can be achieved through a number of different approaches.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whitehouse, Professor Nicki
Authors: Engels, S., and Whitehouse, N.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Published Online:10 February 2023

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