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By looking at these specific pollen samples as well as the layer of accumulated pollen, researchers can develop a better understanding of the environment and biodiversity throughout the history of an area.

Mark Horton does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

more In the past decade there has been a quiet revolution in archaeology, virtually allowing archaeologists to see through the ground without digging.

Advances in geophysics, soil chemistry and remote sensing are speeding up the discovery of ancient sites and helping archaeologists understand them on a global scale.

Pollen dating, is one of the lesser utilized methods archaeologists have to determine a relative chronology or timeframe for a certain event.

One advantage of LIDAR is that it can often see through vegetation, locating sites otherwise obscured by woodland or tropical forests.Satellite imagery such as Google Earth, Microsoft’s Bing and Nasa’s World Wind has made it possible to zoom into even the most remote corners of the globe to locate sites.By helping to spot things like settlement mounds or enclosures, it can help draw attention to places where such sites may be found.These microscopic grains are incredibly sturdy with outer shells made from sporopollenin, an incredibly inert substance.This allows the pollen to stay intact for thousands of years, especially when preserved in bodies of water, peat or, lake sediment.

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