Micromorphological analysis is being used to help us identify floor surfaces and infer activity patterns in the individual spaces within and between buildings. Micromorphology is a method in which stratified sediment samples, particularly including floor levels, are stabilised using resin and analysed under a microscope to reveal evidence of aspects as diverse as reed or animal-skin mats, consecutive floor levels, the use of water around certain vessels or the presence of animals in interior spaces. The method has been successfully employed in the study of ancient domestic buildings comparable to those at Olynthos. Our samples have already provided valuable evidence of floor construction techniques.
Banerjea, R., Bell, M., Matthews, W., and Brown, A. 2015. “Applications of Micromorphology to Understanding Activity Areas and Site Formation Processes in Experimental Hut Floors,” Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 7, 89-112.
Bullock, P., Fedoroff, N., Jongerius, A., Stoops, G., and Tursina, T. 1985. Handbook for Soil Thin Section Description. Wolverhampton.
Matthews, W. 2005. “Micromorphological and Microstratigraphic Traces of Uses and Concepts of Space,” in Hodder, I. (ed.) Inhabiting Catalhoyuk: Reports from the 1995-1999 Seasons. Cambridge, 355-398; 553-572.
Matthews, W. 2012. “Defining Households: Micro-contextual Analysis of Early Neolithic Households in the Zagros, Iran,” in Parker, B. and Foster, C. (eds.) New Perspectives in Household Archaeology. Winona Lake, IN, 183-216.
Stoops, G. 2003. Guidelines for Analysis and Description of Soil and Regolith Thin Sections. Madison, WI.