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Flot and residue sorting and assessment

Analysis and reports


GeoFlo offer the tried and tested, highly efficient flotation method used by the South Cadbury Environs Project.  As staff of the Project, Liz and Nigel processed to a consistently high standard over 12 tonnes of soil from nearly two thousand samples.  The process minimises cross-contamination and is supported by a Quality Control system.

Soil samples are weighed and their volumes recorded to enable subsequent statistical analysis.  The samples are wet sieved through a 0.5mm main sieve for 100% recovery of micro-artefacts, plus a 0.25mm flot sieve.  The environmental material is then dried (excepting where it needs to remain moist), catalogued and bagged for further analysis.  An initial sort of the flots can be carried out at this stage.  The heavy residues are also retained and dried, and can be sorted for ecofacts, artefacts and micro-artefacts if required 


 Flot and residue sorting and assessment

Sorting of flots
Sorting of residues
Initial assessment of flots

Sorting of flots

Flots can be sorted for plant macrofossils including carbonised grain and seeds, molluscs, wood charcoal, insect remains, small mammal bones.
An initial assessment of plant macrofossils can also be carried out at this stage.

Sorting of residues

During the flotation process we can separate out any obvious finds in the residues and dry and bag them separately.  Once dried, residues can be completely sorted for ecofacts, artefacts and micro-artefacts if required.  Sieves are used to sort and identify residue portions greater than 6mm and less than 6mm.  A fine sort can be carried out on the less than 6mm residue portions to ensure total artefact retrieval.

Initial assessment of flots

After flots have been sorted, an initial assessment of plant macrofossils can be undertaken.  This is a quick, efficient and cost-effective way of initially assessing the samples to target samples that are likely to yield useful information under full analysis

Analysis and Reports

We can provide detailed analysis and reports of any or all of the following:

Plant macrofossils
Wood charcoal
Small mammal bones
Insect remains (beetles)