We provide phytolith analysis service from soils and artifacts for the purpose of identifying specific species such as maize, characterizing the plant community belonging to that soil which can change with climate and habitation. We can identify starches and phytoliths from cooking residue and stone artifacts.
We use our ever-growing collection of reference materials including soils from around the Midwest and Great Plains and plant materials for our work with soils and other Archaeological materials. Identification of maize leaves (gardens, storage pits, roasting pits) cobs (cooking residue) relies on collections of maize leaves and cobs from many varieties of maize.
The phytolith assemblage from a soil sample to be analyzed can be compared to known soils whose climate, habitat and plant community are well documented in order to determine what plant community is represented in the soil sample.
Contact us for information about pricing and sampling.