CARUSO Laura Lihue
Fuel management in Patagonian hunter-gatherer groups: Evaluating the diameter of carbonized and non-carbonized wood from Cerro Casa de Piedra 7 site (Argentina)
CARUSO FERMÉ, LAURA; THÉRY-PARISOT, ISABELLE
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Año: 2020 vol. 32
The patterns in the use of wood for fuel by hunter-gatherer societies are shaped by the mobility, duration and function of different occupations. Indeed, many of the fuel properties of wood (flammability, lighting, combustion kinetics, heat), and therefore the functions of fire, depend on the size of its fuel. Consequently, the study and determination of the diameter of archaeological firewood is a possible way to discriminate between the different ways of acquiring wood, from the gathering of wood of small/medium branches to transport-trawling of wood of great caliber (tree trunks), and thus, to provide potential information on the function of the fire. The measurement of wood calibers was applied to the study of both charcoal fragments and wood remains from the site Cerro Casa de Piedra 7 (10,690 ± 120 y 3480 BP), in the Province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, with the objective of highlighting the ways in which firewood was acquired, and how fire was used in the context of high residential mobility of the Patagonian hunter-gatherers. The study evidenced, for the six stratigraphic levels studied, totally dissimilar results in relation to charcoal fragments and non-carbonized wood of the species Nothofagus pumilio (Poepp. et Endl.) Krasser.