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The archaeological record is a combination of what is seen by eye, as well as the microscopic record revealed with the help of instrumentation. The information embedded in the microscopic record can significantly add to our understanding of past human behavior, provided this information has not been altered by the passage of time. Microarchaeology seeks to understand the microscopic record in terms of the type of information embedded in this record, the materials in which this information resides, and the conditions under which a reliable signal can be extracted. This book highlights the concepts needed to extract information from the microscopic record. Intended for all archaeologists and archaeological scientists, it will be of particular interest to students who have some background in the natural sciences as well as archaeology. *Emphasizes the nature of the materials in which information is embedded and the problems associated with extracting a real signal. *Provides a comprehensive list of the types of information embedded in the microscopic archaeological record. *Offers an in-depth overview of the use of infrared spectroscopy for analyzing the microscopic record, the only one of its kind available.
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