Geochemical analysis looks at inorganic chemical elements and compounds in the soil. Certain chemical traces are linked to certain human activities: for example, phosphates are associated with toilets and stables. We use geochemical sampling extensively, sampling each floor level in each architectural space. This allows us to reconstruct patterns of activity in different areas. The samples are then analysed for 34 different elements and the results linked to the GIS, helping create a map of activity areas. Research so far has already helped identify possible industrial processing in one area.
Further reading about geochemical analysis:
Jones, R., Challands, A., French, C., Card, N., Downes, J. and Richards, C. 2010. “Exploring the Location and Function of a Late Neolithic House at Crossiecrown, Orkney by Geophysical, Geochemical and Soil Micromorphological Methods,” Archaeological Prospection 17, 29-47.