image/svg+xml85XII/1/2021InterdIscIplInarIa archaeologIcanatural scIences In archaeologyhomepage: http://www.iansa.euBook reviewsVolume XII ● Issue 1/2021 ● Pages 85–87Reconstructing Archaeological Sites: Understanding the Geoarchaeological MatrixPanagiotis Karkanas, Paul GoldbergWiley-Blackwell, Oxford (2019), 296 pp., ISBN 9781119016403.They also make an attempt to throw light on the various phases of soil formation and post-depositional processes found at archaeological sites, and particularly concerning the methodology of its study. The attempt to include and understand postdepositional processes in their fnal interpretation is quite rare in textbooks presently available: readers usually have to combine geoarchaeology with soil science. On the other hand, Karkanas and Goldberg (2019) is not the frst book pointing out the importance of the connection between primary formation processes and soil-forming processes macroscopically (Holliday, 1992), or by a micromorphological approach (Stoops et al., 2010), or by both (Macphail and Goldberg, 2017).In contrast to the above-mentioned books on geoarchaeology where the description of basic natural formation processes is the key part of the introduction, Karkanas and Goldberg focus on the most widespread type of formation process – mass movement. They frst published this concept when introducing a diferent type of colluvial deposits by way of micromorphology (Karkanas and Goldberg, 2008). This has also been successfully applied in studies from the Czech Republic concerning the type of slope deposits inside a rondel structure (Lisá et al., 2015), or the formation processes of cave inflls (Nejman et al., 2018; Lisá et al., 2013). The reader might fnd it a little confusing that some of the basic formation process descriptions are relatively short (e.g.fuvial or aeolian processes) or even missing (glacial processes), but on the other hand, when we take into consideration the fact that most archaeological situations are covered by various types of colluvial deposits, than such a distinction makes sense.The basic colluvial deposit descriptions mentioned in this book are followed by their recognition in the feld, by micromorphological observations, and also their efect on the archaeological material under discussion. They are divided into: (1) slides and slumps; (2) rock debris falls and avalanches and grain fows; (3) solifuction; (4) debris fows and mudfows; (5) hyperconcentrated fows; (6) high-energy fows; and, they more or less connect the fuvial process with the colluvial one in the sense of (7) water fows in sites, and (8) shallow water fows. The set of presented processes is completed by aeolian processes and by a set of biological processes. The description of post-sedimentary processes, including bioturbation, erosion, diagenesis, or soil-forming processes, is presented in the same way, i.e.frstly a description of their appearance, followed by their recognition in the feld, micromorphology, and their efect on the archaeological material. Thus, this book is theoretically grounded and methodologically clear – and yet remains innovative. Such a guide book provides a perfect framework for the interpretation of both natural and anthropogenic sediments, and the reconstruction of the history of a site’s deposits along with the formation of a site. It also tries to be a practical guide: through its various “boxes” of information, diagrams, and photos that provide guidelines for both feld and laboratory methodology. In our view, an understanding of all the described processes is necessary for a clarifcation of the development of anthropogenic sites and site stratigraphy (cf.Butzer, 1982; Renfrew, 1976; Shackley, 1976).In this short review, we would like to refrain from commenting on specifc chapters, which difer in their quality and depth. Chapter 1 presents guidelines for site formation processes. It introduces the many types of diverse processes that can afect an archaeological site before, during, and after its occupation. These may be, for example, soil formation, developmental processes, and post-depositional events. This frst chapter gives us a context for understanding the history of a site and helps us answer the question of a site’s formation by way of its three-dimensional stratigraphy (cf.Weiner, 2010). By defning the stratigraphy, we can then envision some aspects of the dynamic three-dimensional The book “Reconstructing Archaeological Sites” by P. Karkanas and Paul Goldberg is an attempt to show to the reader another way of how to understand and interpret archaeological deposits. Most of the geoarchaeology books introduce geoarchaeology as an attempt to understand the various formation processes of natural sediments, which are in some way linked to the archaeological context (French, 2012; Rapp and Hill, 2006; Goldberg and Macphail, 2006; Macphail and Goldberg, 2017). In stark contrast to this, Karkanas and Goldberg introduce all sediments linked to the archaeological context as archaeological sediments. These sediments are generally divided into: (a) those deposited by natural processes, but without materials produced, modifed, or re-organized by humans; (b) those deposited by natural processes, but also containing anthropogenic materials; and (c) materials (natural or anthropogenic) deposited only by anthropogenic activities and processes.