By Benjamin Gearey
Paper given at the Staffordshire Hoard Symposium, held at the British Museum, March, 2010
Introduction: This paper will briefly consider the potential of environmental archaeology (i.e. the analysis of the sub-fossil remains of material including pollen, plant and insect remains) and geoarchaeology (i.e. the analysis of the formation processes of the soils and sediments associated with the archaeology) to provide information regarding the find-spot as well as the wider landscape of the Staffordshire Hoard.
These studies are currently in progress and hence the discussion is restricted here to some general thoughts as to how such data may help us understand how the site might have changed over time. More specifically: what can a consideration of the character of geomorphological processes at the site itself tell us about the context of the hoard? What light may environmental archaeology shed on the site itself? What is the potential for further on-site and off-site work, investigating the development of the wider landscape during and since the Anglo-Saxon period? How may these lines of evidence help us to further understand why the hoard was deposited where it was?