Read a recently published issue of Journal of Archaeological Science edited by UConn Anthropology alumnus Thomas Hart. This special issue examines new trends in phytolith scholarship and assesses the future direction of this field of research.
Special section on Issues and Directions in Phytolith Analysis
Thomas C. Hart
This special issue examines new trends in phytolith scholarship and assesses the future direction of this field of research. The papers presented represent a broader shift in phytolith research into a new phase called the “Period of Expanding Applications”. It is characterized by 1) a rapid increase in the number of phytolith publications; 2) a diversification of research topics; 3) a reassessment of the use of radiocarbon and other isotopes in phytoliths; 4) the development of digital technologies for refining and sharing phytolith identifications; 5) renewed efforts for standardization of phytolith nomenclature and laboratory protocol; and 6) the development of the field of applied phytolith research. This paper argues that interdisciplinary collaborations and a continued effort to understand the basics of phytolith production patterns are essential for the growth of the discipline and its application in archaeological studies…