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Pacifc Geoarchaeological Services

Seattle, Washington
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 Pacific Geoarchaeological Services
[under reconstruction starting 12/16/12]
I'm Charlie Hodges, principal of PGS. For the past 22 years I have specialized in providing geoarchaeological services in CRM contexts throughout the North American Far West. For 15 years prior to that, I was a field technician, and traveled and worked in all 14 of the Western states. This site is about what I do and how I do it within the context of CRM.  

It was Colin Renfrew who first coined the term "geoarchaeology" in his introduction to the volume Geoarchaeology, edited by Donald A. Davidson and Myra L. Shackley (1976). Besides pointing out the as-yet unfulfilled potential contribution of the earth sciences to the resolution of archaeological problems, Renfrew offered a concise definition of geoarchaeology still pertinent today: 
This discipline employs the skills of the geological scientist, using his concern for soils, sediments and land forms to focus these upon the archaeological "site" and to investigate the circumstances which governed its location, its formation as a deposit and its subsequent preservation and life history.
The intellectual pedigree of the term, however, goes much farther back to the emergence in the early to mid-nineteenth century of the modern forms of geology and archaeology when geologists, theologians, philologists and archaeologists began to realize the antiquity of the human presence on earth extended well beyond the limits of the Biblical chronology or even the historical narratives of classical antiquity. (Martin Rudwick narrates a good history of this realization in his Worlds Before Adam (2008); for another perspective, Susan Marchand looks at the development of modern field archaeology out of text-based antiquarianism in her Down from Olympus: Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1970 (1996).) 

















Polygonal cracking in large overbank silt flood deposit on pastureland in Chehalis basin, WA, after 2006 flood.

Polygonal freeze-thaw pattern, south-central Oregon, 2010.