Geochemical Services

Soil sampling using an auger

Geochemical surveys analyse soil samples collected from archaeological sites for subtle physical and chemical variations. This helps determine the possible function of a feature from individual soil samples by identifying important diagnostic indicators which are not often appreciable to the naked eye. Geochemical analysis can be used as both a prospection tool and to further our understanding of excavated archaeological sites.

This allows us to detect industrial  and metallurgical activity, cooking sites, refuse dumping, cess-pits and animal husbandry. Geochemical soil samples can be collected by Earthsound technicians or by archaeological site staff. Each sample needs to be collected using tried and tested methodologies  – we can advise you on how to best achieve this and which technique(s) is/are appropriate to answer your project requirements.

We can carry out the following laboratory analyses:

  • Loss on Ignition analysis (organic content)
  • Magnetic Susceptibility content
  • Particle Size analysis
  • Phosphate analysis
  • pH analysis

    Transferring a soil sample from the auger to a sample bag


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