Welcome to the IPS website

News, sample database, publications, researchers…
Everything about phytoliths is here!

Workshop Brasil


Soil biondicators applied to paleoenvironmental reconstruction by Prof. Dra. Marcia Regina Calegari

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Take a survey on grass phytolith identification!

Caroline Strömberg and Tim Gallaher are developing a machine learning and computer vision (ML&CV) tool for automatically identifying grass silica short cell phytoliths (GSSCP). They need your help!

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The book of Abstract of the 11th IMPR can be downloaded here !


Another workshop on Phytoliths this summer! In Barcelona, Spain

Deadline for submitting abstracts is coming very soon: May 15, 2019

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Archeological Summer school Bruxelles

August 2019 Summer school in Bruxelles, Belgium

Training programme that combines micromorphology and phytolith analysis to characterize archaeological levels and identify past human activity.

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Microhabitats for Hominidae

Barboni et al. have investigated the modern phytolith and pollen signals of micro-habitats associated with groundwater (springs) in Eastern Africa, and show how important they could be for early hominins

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Phytoliths as markers of land-use and human adaptations in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia

Arlene Rosen et al. use phytoliths to show that herding practices modified landscapes and vegetation during the Holocene in Mongolia

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Phytolith evidence of cereal processing in the Danube Delta

This study highlights an important signal of cereal processing in the heart of the Danube Delta, 6000 years ago!

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Neanderthal plant use and pyrotechnology

Phytolith assemblages from Roc de Marsal, a Middle Paleolithic cave site in SW France, provide new insight into the relationship between Neanderthals and plant resources

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Climate signal of soil phytolith assemblages from the Altay Mountains, Russia

This study by Solomononva et al. also allows identifying various plant communities based on their phytolith assemblages in soils

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Advances in morphometrics in archaeobotany

Portillo, M., Ball, T.B., Wallace, M., Murphy, C., Pérez-Díaz, S., Ruiz-Alonso, M., Aceituno, F. J., López-Sáez, J. A.

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The new code for phytolith nomenclature, version 2.0 will soon be published !

The International Committee for Phytolith Taxonomy has worked hard !... We'll keep you posted!

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About International Phytolith Society

The International Phytolith Society (IPS) was brought to life in 2013 to provide an umbrella organisation for phytolith researchers worldwide. The aim of establishing the IPS was to create the primary forum for experts working in various disciplines, but related to the study of plant opals.

In the light of rapidly developing new scientific technologies and innovations, the IPS aims to encompass all fields of phytolith research.

The aim of the IPS is to create the primary forum including everything related to opal phytoliths for experts working in various disciplines.

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Phytolith sample database

Phytolith sample database map

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JOURNAL ARTICLES since Jan. 2019
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Access rare publications on phytoliths archived by Rand Evett, including papers, master and doctoral theses!
More than 5000 references are available upon request.

Looking for the paper Mineralization of fossil wood by Buurman published in Scripta Geologica in 1972?

Join us and get access to pdfs of articles in the phytolith bibliography!

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Phytoliths as an indicator of early modern humans plant gathering strategies, fire fuel and site occupation intensity during the Middle Stone Age at Pinnacle Point 5-6 (south coast, South Africa).

Esteban, I., C.W. Marean, E.C. Fisher, P. Karkanas, D. Cabanes, and R.M. Albert. 2018.

Distribution modelling of pre-Columbian California grasslands with soil phytoliths: New insights for prehistoric grassland ecology and restoration.

Fick, S.E., and R.R. Evett. 2018.

Middle-Holocene sea-level fluctuations interrupted the developing Hemudu Culture in the lower Yangtze River, China.

He, K.Y., H.Y. Lu, Y.F. Zheng, J.P. Zhang, D.K. Xu, X.J. Huan, J.H. Wang, and S. Lei. 2018.

International Phytolith Society Board Members

Mikhail Blinnikov

St. Cloud State University, USA

Akos Petö

Szent István University, Hungary

Rand R. Evett

University of California, USA

Marta Portillo

University of Reading, UK

Doris Barboni

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Yansheng Gu

China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China

Katharina Neumann

Goethe University, Germany