By G. Reichel-Dolmatoff

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Alluvium deposited at different times by a stream furnishes a good record of the paleoenvironment. However, because of periods of nondeposition during drought, of erosion of previously deposited sediments, and of stability, the record of human occupation or use of the fluvial environment may not be complete. Absences or gaps of evidence of occupation in the archaeological record thus may be a result of natural stream processes and not actual abandonment of sites. 4 Hjulstrom diagram. 7 The region today is semiarid with only 200-300 mm of rainfall annually, but this was not the case at the time of occupation.

20 To develop a program of mitigation to protect the site, a detailed study is first made of the climatic factors, the geomorphology of the site, and the mechanisms of weathering. Delphi and Olinda, as well as the Acropolis of Athens, are underlain by limestone, in places cavernous, and are also subject to accelerated chemical weathering in today's polluted environment. In dry or desert areas, the salt that rises with capillary water from the soil into the foundations of a monument creates serious problems.

The passive zone is characterized by a homogeneity of material mass, randomness in the coarse fraction, and either large tubular voids lined with phytoliths or elongated cavities and vesicles. When less than a centimeter thick, the voids are generally subhorizontal. Thick voids are subhorizontal nearer the top of the void. 2. The reactive zone is characterized by a greater abundance of subrounded anthropogenic constituents than in the passive zone. The microstructure is fissural, with voids subhorizontal.

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