Skip to main content

The Quantitative Analysis of Soil Phosphate

  • William I. Woods

Developments in environmental quality testing have revealed the need for a reappraisal of the methods of phosphate determination employed by archaeologists. The results of such a reappraisal are presented with recommendations for the implementation of a new technique of quantitative phosphate determination called sequential fractionation. With this technique three discrete fractions are determined by differential solubility criteria. These fractions closely approximate in amount the major types of inorganic phosphate known to be retained by soils. Sample analyses are presented which indicate that the method can be employed to distinguish between natural and human deposited phosphate and to identify features.

Hide All
Apt, Peter 1968 Phosphatuntersuchungen zur topographischen Legalisation von Ortswustungen. Geographica Helvetica 6:18590.
Arrhenius, O. 1931 Die Bodenanalyse im Dienst der Archäologie. Zeitschrift fü r Pflanzenernä hrung, Dü ngung, andBodenkunde 10:42739.
Berenblum, O., and Chain, E. 1938 An improved method for the colorimetric determination of phosphate. Biochemical Journal 32:29598.
Buehrer, T. F. 1950 Chemical study of the material from several horizons of the Ventana Cave profile. In The stratigraphy and archaeology of Ventana Cave, Arizona, by Haury, Emil W. and others, pp. 549–63. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Chang, S. C., and Jackson, M. L. 1957 Fractionation of soil phosphorus. Soil Science 84:133–44.
Cornwall, I. W. 1958 Soils for the archaeologist. Phoenix House, London.
Cruxent, J. M. 1962 Phosphorus content of the Texas street “ healths .” American Antiquity 28:9091.
Davidson, D. A. 1973 Particle size and phosphate analysis: evidence for the evolution of a tell. Archaeometry 15:14352.
Dietz, Eugene F. 1957 Phosphorus accumulation in soil of an Indian habitation site. American Antiquity 22: 405–09.
Eddy, F. W., and Dregne, H. E. 1964 Soil tests on alluvial and archaeological deposits, Navajo Reservoir district. El Palacio 71:521.
Eidt, R. C. 1973 A rapid chemical field test for archaeological site surveying. American Antiquity 38: 206–10.
Eidt, Robert C., and Woods, William I. 1974 Abandoned settlement analysis: theory and practice. Field Test Associates, Milwaukee.
Gregg, Michael L. 1975 Test excavation at two sites in northwestern Illinois. The Wisconsin Archeologist 56: 174200.
Lorch, Walter 1940 Die siedlungsgeographische Phosphatmethode. Die Naturwissenschaften 28:63340.
Lorch, Walter 1954 Die anthropogenen Bodenphosphate des Hohenstaufen-Gipfels. Jahrbucher fur Statistik und Landeskunde von Baden-Wiirttemberg 1: 367–75.
Lutz, H. J. 1951 The concentration of certain chemical ele- ments in the soils of Alaskan archaeological sites. American Journal of Science 249:92528.
Mattingly, S. E. G., and Williams, R. J. B. 1962 A note on the chemical analysis of a soil buried since Roman times. Journal of Soil Science 13:254:58.
Murphy, J., and Riley, J. P. 1962 A modified single solution method for the determination of phosphate in natural waters. Analytica Chimica Acta 27:3136.
Solecki, Ralph S. 1951 Notes on soil analysis and archaeology. American Antiquity 16:25456.
Syers, J. K., Smillie, G. W., and Williams, J. D. H. 1972 Calcium fluoride formation during extraction of calcareous soils with fluoride: I. implications to inorganic P fractionation schemes. Soil Science Society of America Proceedings 36: 2025.
Woods, William I. 1975 The analysis of abandoned settlements by a new phosphate field test method. The Chesopiean 13:145.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *

Related content

Powered by UNSILO


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed