Umhlatuzana 2018: Micromorphology Sampling

The micromorphological sampling of the Umhlatuzana archaeological site started after completing the excavation in mid-August 2018. In addition, bulk sediment samples associated with the micromorphological monoliths were collected. These are going to be processed for sedimentological, geochemical, and mineralogical characterization through various analyses like pH, Magnetic Susceptibility, grain size, Loss on Ignition, and Carbonate presence.

Bulk sediment sampling


The size of the profile was approximately 1.5 m x 2.2 m. Only the west profile of the excavation was sampled; the remaining profiles were unstable and collapsing due to vandalizing incidents that happened in the past.

Defining the location of the samples within the profile


The majority of the samples were collected using plaster bandages because of the high concentration of rocks in the sediments.

Micromorphology sampling using plaster


Sampling with Kubiena tins was possible only on the upper, Holocene deposits. Six samples were collected using this method.  

Micromorphology sampling using Kubiena tins


A total of 31 micromorphology samples were derived mostly focusing on layer boundaries and on what was assumed to be Pleistocene deposits.

Umhlatuzana 2018 micromorphology samples

2 thoughts on “Umhlatuzana 2018: Micromorphology Sampling

    1. Hello Eduardo,

      Here are some general references regarding micromorphology:

      Goldberg and Macphail 2006: Principles of Geoarchaeology Chapter 16.3 and 16.4
      Goldberg and Berna 2010: Micromorphology and context
      Courty et al. 1989: Soils and micromorphology in archaeology
      Georges Stoops, Vera Marcelino, and Florias Mees, editors, Interpretation of Micromorphological Features of Soils and Regoliths

      Depending on the type of site you are working on, you could then focus on publication in which micromorphology is applied to that type of contexts.


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