Fri, 28 Feb | Canterbury Archaeological Trust

Putting colour in the past: an introduction to environmental archaeology

Be sure to book early for this extensive three day course.
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Putting colour in the past: an introduction to environmental archaeology

Time & Location

28 Feb 2020, 09:00 – 01 Mar 2020, 17:00
Canterbury Archaeological Trust, 92A Broad St, Canterbury CT1 2LU

Course details

Plant and animal remains found in archaeological deposits can provide many insights into the lifestyle and diet of past human societies, their use of local land and resources, and ancient environments. The first part of this three-day course will focus on the types of remains that can be preserved on archaeological sites and how they are recovered. Instruction will be given in the taking and processing of environmental samples, followed by a practical session examining dried sample residues that will introduce some of the more commonly recovered remains. The second and third days will provide more detail on the study of plant and invertebrate remains, including practical sessions with charred plant remains, insects, and molluscs. Case-studies will show how combining information from various sources can be used to visualise ancient environments, mainly using examples from CAT sites.


During the day participants will find out:

What environmental archaeology is

How animal and plant remains preserved on archaeological sites can provide insights into ancient environments and human lifestyle

How the type of sediment in which remains are buried influences what may be preserved

What remains are likely to be found in particular features and deposits

Why, where, and how to take samples


Bulk sample processing and sorting dried sample residues to extract biological remains and artefacts


Investigating what invertebrate remains can tell you about the past


On insects and molluscs


Plants and humans

Charred plant remains

Multi-proxy studies to visualise ancient environments


Charred plant remains

Tutors: Enid Allison and Hazel Mosley

Date: Friday 28th February, Saturday 29th February and Sunday 1st March 2020

Venue: Canterbury Archaeological Trust, 92a Broad Street, Canterbury, CT1 2LU

Fee: £180 (£175 for FCAT)

Book your place
  • Standard 3 Day Course
  • FCAT 3 Day Course

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