Fading Star: Towards understanding the effects of acidification on organic remains (wood) at Star Carr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This study takes an experimental approach towards understanding the rates of organic decay at the early Mesolithic site of Star Carr (UK). Recent observations at the site have indicated that accelerated deterioration of organic artefacts is occurring. This is linked to changes in the hydrology and geochemistry at the site, which have led to exceptionally high acidity (< pH 2.5 in places). Understanding and quantifying the effects of this increased acidity is critical in deciding future site management. This research has implications not only for Star Carr, but other wetland sites currently at risk from similar processes. Here, we have used a lab-based approach to investigate the effects of acidification alone. A key part of this has been the assessment of adequate analytical techniques. Using laboratory-based experiments to simulate varying levels of diagenesis, preliminary results show that by employing a range of complementary analytical techniques, mechanisms of organic diagenesis can be more completely understood and quantified
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th ICOM-CC Group on Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Conference, Istanbul 2013
EditorsT Grant, C Cook
ISBN (Print)9781365065194
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2019
EventICOM-CC Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Conference - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 13 May 201317 May 2013
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceICOM-CC Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Conference

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