What are phytoliths made of?
Phytoliths (from the Greek ‘plant stone’) are rigid, microscopic structures made of silica, found in some plant tissues. Plants take up silica from the soil, whereupon it is deposited within different intracellular and extracellular structures of the plant.
What plants have phytoliths?
Grasses are the most well-known of silica accumulating plants, but many other plants also produce phytoliths including mosses, ferns, gymnosperms, other monocots (eg. palms and gingers) and many species of dicotyledonous angiosperms.
What is the definition of Phytolith?
Definition of phytolith : a microscopic siliceous particle that is formed by a plant and that is highly resistant to decomposition ancient vegetation revealed by phytoliths.
What is a Phytolith in Archaeology?
Phytolith analysis is a micro-botanical technique used in archaeology to study ancient plant remains. Phytoliths are opaline silica bodies formed during the lifetime of a wide variety of plant taxa within and between certain cells.
What are Macrobotanical remains?
[De] Plant remains recovered from archaeological contexts that can be seen with the naked eye. These tend to be seeds and wood fragments, but nuts and other fruits may also be represented. From: macrobotanical remains in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology »
Do all plants have phytoliths?
The deposited Si in the form of phytoliths can occur in many shapes and sizes. However, while all plants contain Si, not all produce phytoliths. The overall shape and size of phytoliths can vary from silicified microhairs or prickles to fan-shaped phytoliths in the leaves.
Do all plants produce phytoliths?
Where can phytoliths be found?
Phytoliths (from Greek, “plant stone”) are rigid, microscopic structures made of silica, found in some plant tissues and persisting after the decay of the plant. These plants take up silica from the soil, whereupon it is deposited within different intracellular and extracellular structures of the plant.
What are Microbotanical remains?
Microbotanical remains include spores, pollen, phytoliths, starch grains, and similar materials produced by fungi and plants. Their study provides insights into aspects of environments and cultures otherwise unavailable in the archaeological record and elaborates upon others.
What is a Macrobotanical?
The term macrobotanical is used to discuss those plant remains that we can see with the naked eye. Identification of the recovered seeds, nuts, bones, plant parts, etc., provides direct information on what resources were available in the site vicinity, and also those definitely collected by the people who camped there.
Can phytoliths be preserved?
 noted that if plant material was rapidly deeply buried, as may occur in certain archaeological sites, the detachment of phytoliths from soil formation processes (via detachment from plant root activity) enhances their chances of preservation.