This paper presents the preliminary results of the analysis of charcoal remains from the Neolithic cinnabar mine of Spaccasasso. Cinnabar is a mineral that was used as a pigment by different cultures worldwide since the Neolithic period. Firesetting was one of the most common mining techniques used for breaking rock to extract ores and minerals from prehistoric times up to the invention of explosives. Anatomical identification of the fuelwood used for mining provides important information about ancient mining techniques. The results show a preference for the use of Erica as a fuelwood, associated with evergreen and deciduous oaks. These data are coherent with the pollen records from nearby sites on the Thyrrenian coast that show the dominance of a mixed deciduous and evergreen oak forest with elements of maquis shrubland. These results are preliminarily discussed considering the heat values and the physiological state of the most common Mediterranean fuelwoods. They suggest a fuelwood selection based on the empiric knowledge of which woody plants serve as the best fuel for firesetting by Late Neolithic Populations.
|Titolo:||Wood selection for firesetting: First data from the Neolithic cinnabar mine of Spaccasasso (South Tuscany, Italy)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|