The first part of the book is devoted to the understanding of the basic principles of available techniques and the information they provide.
The second part describes the properties and the processes related to the most common classes of materials, including several topics such as textile, paper, and amber analysis, conservation of photographic materials, and non-invasive metal analysis that are hardly covered in other non-specialist textbooks.
It is also now possible, entirely on a petrological basis, to study the prehistoric distribution of Archaeology is fundamentally a historical science, one that encompasses the general objectives of reconstructing, interpreting, and understanding past human societies.
Isaiah Berlin’s perceptive comments on the inherent difficulties in practicing “scientific history” are particularly apropos for archaeology.
, and with its physical nature by petrology and metallurgy, turns to the remaining information he can get from his colleagues in the natural sciences.For a long time archaeologists searched for an absolute chronology that went beyond this and could turn their relative chronologies into absolute dates.Clay- left behind by the melting glaciers when the European Ice Age came to an end.This is something that the archaeologist himself is rarely equipped to do; he has to rely on colleagues specializing in geology, ; and he established as a fact of prehistory that over 4,000 years ago these large stones had been transported 200 miles from west Wales to Salisbury Plain.
Detailed petrological analysis of the material of Neolithic polished stone axes have enabled archaeologists to establish the location of prehistoric ax factories and trade routes.A rapidly growing number of innovative analytical techniques, as well as many established experimental ones, are constantly being improved and optimized for the analysis of cultural heritage materials.