David De Vries: “Soil Profile Data for Archaeological Interpretations”

Join the SCAS for a talk by David De Vries entitled: “Soil Profile Data for Archaeological Interpretations.” The talk will be held on December 12, 2019, at 7:30 pm at the Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange Hall at 1900 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (click here for Google Maps directions).

Well known digital tools such as NRCS’s “Web Soil Survey” provide useful background for landscape wide archaeological interpretations such as sensitivity modeling.  But, on the micro level of many CRM projects, there is no substitute for detailed on-site soil profile data, to complement and sometimes to contradict the surveys.  The historic agricultural focus and the low density sampling of most published soil surveys is usually inadequate to answer critical site specific questions.  Mr. De Vries will explain the relevance of some basic field properties to some basic questions: “Is there stratigraphic integrity?”  “Is it midden?”  “Could there be a deeply buried site here?”

A typical redwood-Douglas fir forest soil in Sonoma County, clearly showing A, B, and C horizons. The artifacts are mostly going to be found at the B-C boundary.

David De Vries is the owner/principal of Mesa Technical, a private sector consulting business.  Mr. De Vries has a degree in Soil Resource Management from UC Berkeley, and has been observing and interpreting soil characteristics for archaeologists since 1985.  He is also a photographer, and has completed several hundred HABS/HAER/HALS and similar projects.

Comments are closed.