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Field and laboratory workshop: Methodology of stratigraphic and climatostratigraphic correlation of the Holocene lake sediments and geoarchaeological data based on selected sites from Egypt (Lake Qarun in Faiyum Oasis, Lake Saqqara, Nile Delta lakes) and Poland (Lake Jeziorak region, paleolakes in Biała Podlaska region)

 

The workshopwas held in Biała Podlaska in eastern Poland on April 9-11, 2016. It was a complementary issue to the Fourth Geoarchaeological Conference: Late Pleistocene and Holocene climatostratigraphy of North Africa reflected in lake sediments and geoarchaeological data held in Warsaw on April 8-9, 2016. The main objective of the workshop was to raise qualification and dissemination of interdisciplinary geoarchaeological research skills. The emphasis was put on issue of stratigraphic correlation of Holocene lake sediments with archaeological chronology, based on selected lake geological cores and archaeological data from the sites in Egypt (Faiyum, Sakkara, Nile Delta) and Poland (northern and eastern Poland palaeolake regions). The workshop was designed primarily to graduates and PhD students, early-career researchers from developing countries as Egypt, Ukraine and Belarus and from Poland.

This thematic workshop allowed the participants to become familiar with the most modern methodology of stratigraphic correlation of geological and archaeological units, essential in any geoarcheological research. The training was performed by researchers with great experience and knowledge. The basic benefit was to combine methodological approaches in Earth sciences and archaeology to attain perfection in geoarchaeological research. The workshop was focused on practical training including drilling, sampling and laboratory analyses of Pleistocene and Holocene lake deposits and their lithostratigraphical and chronostratigraphical correlation.

Day 1.The techniques of collecting cores, methodology of drilling, sampling and basic field documentation were presented, based on sites of Middle Pleistocene lake sediments. The presentation started with a field drilling at Ossówka where 5 m long core of lake sediments was collected with a use of Cobra Atlas Copco drilling set. The core was described and sampled in the field by the participants and magnetic susceptibility of the sediments was measured. At Ortel Królewski the participants collected mollusc shells from the exposed lake sediments. At Mekle they recognized relationship between ice-dam lake and glaciofluvial sediments in front of local end moraine row.

Day 2.Participants were familiarized with basic analytic methodology, using the laboratory equipment in the State School of Higher Education\ in Biala Podlaska. The exercise was focused on 2 cores with Holocene lake sediments: the core (5 m long) from the Lake Młynek in northern Poland (near to the archaeological sites Janiki Wielkie and Janiki Małe dated to the Bronze age, Migration Period and Middle Ages) and the core (26 m long) from the Qarun Lake in Egypt (acquired in the area with numerous archaeological sites dated mainly to Epipaleolithic and Neolithic). The participants took part in preliminary microscopic geochemical (SEM/EDS) and micromorphological analyses of selected samples. Particular attention was given to palaeontological (diatom and mollusc-ostracod) examination and construction of the age-depth model. Finally, basic procedures of correlation of logs of the Holocene lake sediments were combined with results of laboratory analyses.

The workshop was dedicated to geoarcheological training of young scientists. It promoted climatostratigraphic research based on examination of Pleistocene and Holocene lake sediments in different climatic zones and stimulated reference to the adjoining archaeological sites. The workshop was supported by funds of International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA), Faculty of Geology of the University of Warsaw, Institute of Archaeology of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw and Faculty of Economics and Technical Sciences of Pope John Paul 2nd State School of Higher Education in Biała Podlaska.

 

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