Wednesday, September 13, 2006

An international congress analyses how to obtain more information about mineralized vegetal cells to know more about our past

To identify the vegetal rests that are found in archaeological contexts is very important to obtain information about aspects as diverse as the diet from past populations, their agricultural techniques and, in general, the use that they made of plants, while the identification of these aspects allows us to know how was the landscape in which they developed.

One of the methods that are used for finding it out is the analysis of phytoliths, which are mineralized vegetal cells and which are found, sometimes, during the works of excavation. In order to deepen in this type of analyses from September 12th to 15th, the 6th International Meeting on Phytolith Research will take place in Barcelona, promoted by the ICREA (Catalan Institute of Research in Advanced Studies), being the IPHES (Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution) a member of the organizing committee.

The analysis of phytoliths consists on the identification and interpretation of the crystals of silica that are produced in the epidermis of the plants when this mineral has dissolved itself in the water that the plants absorb from the earth. These particles show different forms and keep on the ground when the organic matter of the plant where they were produced has disappeared.

For knowing more about this and the program of the Meeting consult this web site:

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