The study of phytoliths-inorganic silica remnants plants leave behind when they die and decay-has developed dramatically over the last twenty years. New publications have documented a diverse array of phytoliths from many regions around the globe, while new understandings have emerged as to how and why plants produce phytoliths. Together, these developments make phytoliths a powerful tool in reconstructing past environments and human uses of plants. In Phytoliths, Dolores Piperno makes sense of the discipline for both those working directly with phytoliths in the field or the lab as well as for those who rely on the results of phytolith studies for their own research. Including over a hundred images, Piperno's book will be of great benefit to archaeologists and paleobotanists in the classroom or the lab.
Dolores R. Piperno is an archaeologist with a joint appointment at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the National Museum of Natural History.
1 The Production, Deposition, and Dissolution of Phytoliths 2 Phytolith Morphology 3 Phytoliths in Domesticated Plants and Their Wild Ancestors 4 Field Techniques and Research Design 5 Laboratory Techniques 6 The Interpretation of Phytolith Assemblages: Method and Theory 7 The Role of Phytoliths in Archaeological Reconstruction 8 The Role of Phytoliths in Paleoecology