Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy (SAC)

High quality, efficient and professional services for the processing and analysis of archaeobotanical samples

Member of the archaeobotany team using a microscope

Contact Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy

Email-       Telephone- +44 (0) 1142 222933

Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy
Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield
Minalloy House
10 – 16 Regent Street
Sheffield, S1 3NJ

The Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy is based within the Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and ancient Land-usE in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. The consultants are self employed and provide specialist services to archaeological clients. Our experienced consultants have worked as archaeobotanical specialists for commercial units and on internationally recognised research projects including the Stonehenge Riverside Project, and the Çatalhöyük excavations for many years. We have expertise in the analysis of material from Britain, Europe and the Near East from all types of context and in all periods, from early prehistoric to industrial.

Archaeological plant remains can provide important information on human diet, trade, economy, agricultural practices, building construction, animal diet, and local environmental history. The analysis of these remains is an essential tool for investigating past human activities and is now an established practice in commercial archaeology.

We offer specialist analysis of charred and waterlogged plant macroremains, wood charcoal and pollen including-

  • On-site sampling and processing
  • Off-site sample processing
  • Advice on sampling strategies
  • Samples from field evaluations processed and rapidly assessed for a range of palaeoenvironmental evidence
  • Recommendations for suitable further analysis targeted at selected samples
  • Full analysis of plant materials taken to publication standard
  • Reports written according to English Heritage guidelines
  • Archaeobotanical photography and illustration
  • All work carried out using laboratory facilities, comprehensive reference collections and specialist knowledge in the Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and ancient Land-usE, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield

Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy- Services

Further information


We offer on-site sampling as well as advice on sampling strategies aimed at maximising the recovery of different classes of palaeoenvironmental evidence. Samples can be processed on site or in house using appropriate techniques.

We provide several levels of reporting: initial assessment reports, full reports and publication. The level of reporting for each project can be negotiated with the client according to requirements and resources. Initial assessment reports provide an estimation of the abundance of material and taxonomic diversity, useful in its own right and for planning more detailed work. A full report includes more accurate species identification, quantification and interpretation of archaeobotanical data. Full reports can be taken to publication standard, in the context of previously published work. The Centre has particular expertise in the statistical analysis of archaeobotanical data. High quality photography and archaeobotanical illustration can also be provided. All work is overseen by Professor Glynis Jones.


  • On-site flotation and coring equipment
  • Laboratory for sample processing
  • Fully equipped microscopy suite
  • Extensive seed, wood charcoal and pollen reference collections
  • Large archaeobotanical reference library
  • High quality digital imaging facilities

Our People