Archaeological Parenchyma

J. G. Hather

UK Price: £39.50 US Price: $65.00

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ISBN: 1873132425
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 92
Illustrations: Numerous half-tone

The parenchymous remains of roots and tubers are increasingly recognised as an important category of plant remain alongside seeds, fruits and wood charcoal. Identification is however frequently viewed as problematical and such important indicators of past diet are often left unidentified.

This book describes the full range of anatomical and morphological characters used in the identification of the parenchymous remains of roots and tubers. Each of the characters is illustrated by photographs of modern and archaeological plant tissues and by line drawings. Further sections of the book also deal with the examination of archaeological tissues and the preparation of modern plant tissue reference collections.


Table of illustrations


1. Introduction

Parenchyma as a plant remain

How to use this book

Celles and tissues-an introduction to vegetative soft tissue anatomy

2. Gross morphology


Historical perspective

Morphological definitions

3. Surface morphology


Detachment scars-abscission zones

Detachment scars-breakage zones


Prickles and spines

Surface topography

4. Parenchyma

Parenchyma as a tissue

Cell size and shape

The fracture plane

Cell contents


Boundary tissues

Cavities in parenchyma

The water content of parenchyma on charring

The diagnostic value of parenchyma

5. The vascular tissues of the stem

Meristems and the primary and secondary plant body

The primary stem

The nature and preservation of vascular tissues

The secondary stem in Monocotyledons

6. Root tissues

Primary root tissues

Secondaryroot storage issues

Anomalous teriary growth

7. Sclerenchyma

General properties and function



Preservation in charred tissues

General recognition and diagnostic value

8. Pratical methods

Fragments of archaeological parenchyma

The diagnostic value of anatomical and morphological characters

Sampling and recovery

The identification process

Observation of archaeobotanical remains

Recording characters on data sheets

Collection of reference material

Morphological and anatomical variation within species

Preparation of modern reference materials




Published 2000