What?: Micromorphology

Micromorphology is the study of microscopic elements within soil. Archaeologists use this method to answer many questions about a historic site. These include how a site was formed geologically, where different human activities occurred, and what kind of plants and animals were present at different times throughout history.

Micromorphology was used to study some of the First Home ceramics, specifically the Cistercian wares.

Photomicrograph of Cisterian Ware Sherd

 

This image shows many inclusions within the ceramic paste. The large, red, circular pieces are grog, or crushed pieces of broken ceramic vessels that were intentionally included to strengthen the paste of the new vessel. Quartz sand and fine gravel are also present. These were likely natural inclusions.