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Conference Papers Year : 2023

From fire properties to taphonomy, an experimental approach to temperature during palaeolithic

Abstract

Whether one is interested in paleoeconomic or technical aspects related to the use of fire, or in taphonomy, the concept of temperature is central in charcoal analysis. Based on experimental results, we will provide an overview of the concept of temperature in anthracology, covering both its theoretical and epistemological aspects. What does the temperature tell us about the function of the hearths? Can prehistoric hearth temperatures be accurately a posteriori measured, and what information could be gleaned from these measurements? Changing scale, what are the effects of fire temperatures on the residues themselves in terms of taphonomy? Can temperatures impact the preservation of charcoal after combustion and during post-depositional processes? Furthermore, how can we assess the effects of temperature on the anthracological record? To address these questions, we conducted over two hundred experimental standardized combustions in both laboratory and natural conditions (combustions in open structure and muffle furnace; weathering in natural and laboratory conditions; physical and chemical measurements). Our findings, supported by mathematical data processing, provide insight into the properties of wood combustion, including fragmentation processes during and after charcoal deposition. Additionally, we explored the challenges of measuring temperature in both the combustion structures and the charcoal itself. Our results show that temperatures in the open-air fireplaces are highly labile, with average temperatures always within the same range whatever the specie is. We also provide informations on the effect of high temperatures on the fragmentation processes during combustion and after deposit but also on the isotopic signal.
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hal-04204931 , version 1 (12-09-2023)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04204931 , version 1

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Isabelle Théry-Parisot, Benjamin Audiard, Carré Alain, Julia Chrzavzez, Vanna Lisa Coli, et al.. From fire properties to taphonomy, an experimental approach to temperature during palaeolithic. Anthraco 2023 - 8th International Anthracology Meeting, Aug 2023, Porto, Portugal. ⟨hal-04204931⟩
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