Organic Residue Analysis and Archaeology

BookOrganic Residue Analysis and Archaeology

Organic Residue Analysis and Archaeology

Guidance for Good Practice

Historic England Guidance


February 23rd, 2017





This document provides guidance for good practice in the recovery, analysis and publication of organic residues from archaeological sites. It has been written for a range of archaeological professionals, including local authority archaeology officers, archaeological units and consultants, project managers, museum curators, conservators and pottery specialists, with the aim of ensuring that approaches are suitable, cost-effective and informative.
The objectives of the guidelines are to:
• inform practicing archaeologists of the principles and potential applications of organic residue analysis (ORA)
• provide clear and coherent guidance on organic residues recovery, sampling and analysis
• demonstrate the research potential of the approach
This guidance was commissioned by Historic England and written by University of Bristol-based organic residue specialists, with contributions from the Universities of Bradford and York, in consultation with pottery specialists, museum curators, field archaeologists, local authority curators and Historic England.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
• Underpinning principles of ORA
• Analytical techniques
• Commodities identified from organic residues
• Archaeological applications
• Project design, planning and sampling
• Research agenda and strategy
• Frequently asked questions
• Case studies
• References
• Glossary
• Where to get advice
• Acknowledgements