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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Royaume-Uni → 1997 → Erosion of semi-arid archaeological sites : a study in formation processes

University of Bristol (1997)

Erosion of semi-arid archaeological sites : a study in formation processes

Wainwright, John

Titre : Erosion of semi-arid archaeological sites : a study in formation processes.

Auteur : Wainwright, John.

Université de soutenance  : University of Bristol

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) : 1997

This thesis looks at the effects of erosion on archaelogical sites in semi-arid regions, with particular reference to the later prehistory of Southwest France. A review of theoretical works in site formation processes sets the study in context. This is developed more specifically with reference to natural formation processes. The nature of the archaeological record is examined, including the r^ole of formation processes. From this, a set of basic hypotheses on the effects of the erosion of archaeological sites are generated. These hypotheses are analyzed in two ways. First, the link between an archaeological context and its hydrology, which controls overland flow production and therefore erosion, is demonstrated by a series of infiltration experiments on three prehistoric sites in Southwest France. Secondly, the transport of artefacts by overland flow and rainsplash is investigated. Both theoretically, and by a series of flume experiments, overland flow is shown to be a significant process, whereas rainsplash is not. A numerical model is developed from these data to simulate the erosion of archaeological sites. This is fully distributed, to allow variability of hydrology with context, and also considers the effects of vegetation regrowth on hydrology and erosion. This model is applied to hypothetical hillslopes with archaeological structures and artefacts, to show the generic effects of erosion under a range of conditions. A stochastic rainfall model is used to demonstrate that an average rainfall approach produces accurate results, especially over longer time periods.

Annonce : EThOS (UK)

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