Further Studies in Raman Spectroscopy of Fire-Cracked Rock

Author(s): Laura Short

Year: 2017


Biomolecular organic residue analysis is an increasingly popular avenue of archaeological investigation. It is most frequently performed on pottery, though other substrates such as groundstone and chipped lithics are common. Recently, these methods have extended to fire-cracked rock (FCR). FCR features such as earth ovens are an excellent potential application: a) botanical evidence is not always preserved in the features and b) cracks that form in the FCR during the cooking process may protect residues. Earth ovens, as cooking features with wide spatial and temporal distribution, are thus an important subsistence information source. This paper represents a starting point for using Raman spectroscopy to analyze biomolecular organic residues on FCR. Following best practices makes for more accurate subsistence data, which in turn means more accurate interpretations. This paper focuses on the construction of a reference collection for a project analyzing FCR from earth ovens in south-central North America. Modern and prehistoric raw plants were analyzed, as were plants cooked in the lab and actualistic experiments. These will demonstrate differences between the plants' chemical signatures, as well as effects of time and cooking on plant signatures. Selected FCR samples from said site will be interpreted in light of this reference collection.

Cite this Record

Further Studies in Raman Spectroscopy of Fire-Cracked Rock. Laura Short. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431909)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15415