CARUSO Laura Lihue
Tracing driftwood in archaeological contexts: experimental data and anthracological studies at the Orejas de Burro 1 site (Patagonia, Argentina)
CARUSO FERME, L.; IRIARTE AVILES, E; BORRERO LUÍS ALBERTO
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2014 vol. 57 p. 175 - 193
The characterization of sedimentary particles and minerals present in the charcoal and woody archaeological remains contributes to determining the different sedimentary, archaeological and taphonomic processes that affected them. In order to prove this assumption, woody remains at the Orejas de Burro 1 archaeological site (Argentina) were studied, and a pilot programme was undertaken to study the chemical composition of the wood and the causes ofits variation. Wood samples from the same plant species found at the site, Nothofagus pumilio and Berberis sp., were collected from different forest, coastal marine and lake areas in Patagonia, charred, analysed and compared to archaeological samples. Modern reference charcoal samples show mainly the elements, C, O and probably Ca and K, involved in the organic plant tissues, whereas the presence of additional chemical elements (Al, Si, Fe, Na,Mg, K, Cl and Ca) and/or minerals in modern and archaeological charcoal and wood samples suggests that they have been in contact with seawater, pointing to the use of driftwood and the occurrence of different taphonomic processes. The results obtained allow us to propose that in the past driftwood was collected as firewood along the coast of the Strait of Magellan, and to highlight the potential of the geochemical and mineralogical studies in archaeobotanicalmaterials.