Understanding the human contribution in sediment/soil formation


Gallello Gianni Gallello

Gianni Gallello

University of Valencia, Spain


A major challenge for archaeologists, is the understanding the development and formation of sediments and soils to better comprehend the past human activities, such as farming, domestic and manufacturing activities and to differentiate them from natural or post-depositional processes.

In this multidisciplinary session different areas of knowledge such as archaeology, soil science, environmental science, analytical chemistry, geochemistry and statistics, converge and unite. It aim is to discuss the methodological approaches employed by the scientific community to provide proxies to identify past human activities. Innovative applications based on the determination of mineral and organic compounds and in general any approach related to archaeological sediment/soil analyses are welcome. We also encourage the submission of works focused in sites and contexts with very poor archaeological records where the human activities behind these findings can, only be observed by sediment and soil analyses.


Gianni Gallello, developed innovative methodological proposals for the study of archaeological soil and human remains, employing novel sampling strategies, Rare Earth Elements (REE), major and trace element analysis and multivariate statistics. The capability to act consistently has helped to provide the support to present new methodological proposals for a set of heterogeneous and diachronic archaeological materials (from Prehistory). During the last 10 years his research activity has been focused on the chemical analysis of different archaeological materials, testing new methodological approaches to overcome some of the most significant problems facing the archaeological community in the sphere of ancient human activity fingerprinted in the soil, post-mortem bone contaminations, lithic material origins, the raw material origins of mortar, provenance of ceramics and identification of organic materials in ancient objects. Gianni has a background in analytical chemistry and a wide range of practical and analytical skills acquired working across the disciplines of Archaeology, Biology, Geology and Analytical Chemistry. Significant results from his PhD and subsequent postdoctoral research have been published in high impact journals and participates as PI or research group member in several national and international projects.
In 2014 Gianni founded ArchaeChemis (www.uv.es/archaechemis) at the University of Valencia. ArchaeChemis was designed as a chemical analysis unit for research and technology transfer for research groups and non-academic organizations dedicated to the study of the past. Today Gianni is a distinguished researcher at the Department of Prehistory, Archeology and Ancient History (UVEG).