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The Quantitative Analysis of Soil Phosphate

  • William I. Woods
Abstract

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.

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References
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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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