A Rapid On-Site Method for Micromorphological Block Impregnation and Thin Section Preparation

Yotam Asscher, Yuval Goren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a new method for on-site preparation of large-size micromorphological thin sections. This method is applicable for a broad range of disciplines, including but not unique to sedimentology, soil science, geology, and archaeology. We focus on testing a rapid on-site impregnation using low-viscosity Epoxy resin, a method that cuts short the time that elapses between field sampling, oven drying, and vacuum impregnation in the laboratory. Sediment samples from different sites in the southern Levant were impregnated, and results show that this on-site impregnation method produces high-quality results in terms of stratigraphic intactness, and ability to identify a variety of archaeological materials. The quality of impregnation was better in silty and sandy sediments rather than in clayey sediments. The on-site impregnation method saves weeks to months of laboratory procedures and seems to be useful in Mediterranean and arid environments. We also present one example of grinding and polishing until a rudimentary thin section was produced on-site in a matter of 3 days from sampling to finished thin section. The ability to produce thin micromorpholgical sections in a few days will influence excavation strategies and help answer geoarchaeological questions during the excavation season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-331
Number of pages8
JournalGeoarchaeology - An International Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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