Two buried paleocatenas were studied to determine some features and techniques by which buried soils could be recognized, and to define their pedological characteristics, their lateral variation, and their contemporary environment. At Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, a ferric podzol to sandy gley sequence was developed in sands under marine clay and fen peat. The peat was radiocarbon dated at about 4100 yr BP. The buried soil was evident from its obvious catenary character and the soil characteristics and contemporary environment were determined using sand mineralogy, micromorphology, and pollen analysis. At West Runton, Norfolk, an apparently similar ferric podzol sequence occurred in Beestonian sands and gravels under a layer of Cromerian organic muds. However, only the uppermost profile contained definite evidence of soil formation. Other lower profiles contained pseudosoil features produced by sedimentation or diagenetic subsurface iron mobilization. It is suggested that the occurrence of a paleocatena is the most important criterion for the identification of a buried soil. Sedimentation and diagenesis cannot reproduce this lateral variation.