Charcoal analyses

ICArEHB provides services of Archaebotany, focusing in charcoal analyses. We offer a range of Archaeobotany services, from the field to the laboratory, providing the techniques to achieve high resolution record of plant macro remains in archaeological sites. Charcoal fragments are crucial remains to assess the human exploitation of woodland resources and use of fire, and to conduct palaeoenvironmental reconstructions in Archaeology. This service offers:

  • Consultancy in archaeobotany sampling strategies to adapt the best plan to the archaeological excavation and project goals;
  • Recovery of samples in the field;
  • Process of samples by Flotation, the only method that allows the total recovery of plant and other small remains;
  • Microscope analyses of charcoal for taxonomical and micro-signatures identification.


Please contact Dr. Patrícia Monteiro ( for more information and quotes.



Fish Sclerochronology

In addition to traditional taxonomic analyzes, sclerochronological studies have demonstrated the potential to provide robust environmental data (e.g. seasonality), essential for understanding the mobility and the occupation patterns of a territory. Its usefulness ranges from estimates of age to estimates of time and duration of various life events of fish, bivalve or coral. In short, the method is based on the study of the various signals present in fish structures, which provide temporal references of structural, chemical or optical natures. For Archeology, the most important event is the last increment, that is, the death or capture of the animal. This event is particularly important, because it is indicative of the chronological use of a given territory by a population or person.


Please contact Dr. Rita Dias ( for more information and quotes.



Diatom analysis

Among other purposes, this service can be required for: diatom identification, paleoenvironmental reconstructions, modern environment characterization and monitoring, forensic research and archaeological materials provenance studies.

Diatom analysis include sample preparation and diatom counting and identification at light microscope. Based on these results, we provide diatom concentration and diversity, frustule dissolution index, species abundances and environmental preferences, and other statistical analysis, in accordance with the aims of the work.

The service includes the delivery of a technical report.


Please contact Dr. Ana Gomes ( for more information and quotes.