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Description: Geoarchaeological studiescan significantly enhance interpretations of human prehistory by allowing archaeologists to decipher from sediments and soils the effects of earth processes on the evidence of human activity. While a number of previous books have provided broad geographic and temporal treatments of geoarchaeology, this new volume presents a single author's view intended for North American archaeologists. Waters deals with those aspects of geoarchaeology—stratigraphy, site formation processes, and landscape reconstruction—most fundamental to archaeology, and he focuses on the late Quaternary of North America, permitting in-depth discussions of the concepts directly applicable to that research. Assuming no prior geologic knowledge on the part of the reader, Waters provides a background in fundamental geological processes and the basic tools of geoarchaeology. He then proceeds to relate specific physical processes, microenvironments, deposits, and landforms associated with riverine, desert, lake, glacial, cave, coastal, and other environments to archaeological site formation, location, and context. This practical volume illustrates the contributions of geoarchaeological investigations and demonstrates the need to make such studies an integral part of archaeological research. The text is enhanced by more than a hundred line drawings and photographs. CONTENTS1. Research Objectives of Geoarchaeology2. Geoarchaeological Foundations: The Archaeological Site Matrix: Sediments and Soils / Stratigraphy / The Geoarchaeological Interpretation of Sediments, Soils, and Stratigraphy3. Alluvial Environments: Streamflow / Sediment Erosion, Transport, and Deposition / Alluvial Environments: Rivers, Arroyos, Terraces, and Fans / Alluvial Landscapes Evolution and the Archaeological Record / Alluvial Landscape Reconstruction4. Eolian Environments: Sediment Erosion, Transport, and Deposition / Sand Dunes / Loess and Dust / Stone Pavements / Eolian Erosion / Volcanic Ash (Tephra)5. Springs, Lakes, Rockshelters, and Other Terrestrial Environments: Springs / Lakes / Slopes / Glaciers / Rockshelters and Caves6. Coastal Environments: Coastal Processes / Late Quaternary Sea Level Changes / Coastal Environments / Coastal Landscape Evolution and the Archaeological Record / Coastal Landscape Reconstruction7. The Postburial Disturbance af Archaeological Site Contexts: Cryoturbation / Argilliturbation / Graviturbation / Deformation / Other Physical Disturbances / Floralturbation / Faunalturbation8. Geoarchaeological ResearchAppendix A: Geoarchaeological Studies Illustrating the Effects of Fluvial Landscape Evolution on the Archaeological RecordAppendix B: Geoarchaeological Studies Illustrating Site-Specific Synchronic and Diachronic Alluvial Landscape ReconstructionsAppendix C: Geoarchaeological Studies Illustrating Regional Synchronic and Diachronic Alluvial Landscape Reconstructions