Interpreting Results
The interpretation of results should be joint process between the specialist and archaeologist. The specialist providing the knowledge of the limitations and assumptions inherent in the technique and the archaeologist the broader picture concerning the history of the site.
Information concerning some of the assumptions and limitations can be found in the 'Data interpretation' sections of the individual technique pages. However, the effect of these may be greater or less depending on the environment, the sampling strategy, and the exact analytical methods used.
General questions that should be asked of all results though, are:
- Have enough, or large enough, samples been taken from across each area to give a true picture of the soils and their local variability?
- How do the results compare to local reference soils and control samples?
- How confident are you that the results reflect anthropogenic differences rather than natural changes in geology, vegetation, soils or hydrology?.
A specialist with local knowledge of the area will be able to provide guidance on these points.