Sedimentary, Molecular, and Isotopic Characteristics of Bone-Fueled Hearths


This is an abstract from the "Charred Organic Matter in the Archaeological Sedimentary Record" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Molecular and isotopic analyses of sediments from archaeological combustion features is a relatively new area of study. Applications have the potential to inform us about ancient pyro-technologies and patterns of animal exploitation in a wide range of human contexts but may be particularly informative with regards to ancient hunter-gatherers. Our analyses of sediments from experimental bone and wood fires, and from controlled laboratory heating sequences, provide information on the formation and location of biomarkers from pyrolyzed animal fats in hearth sediments. This information is compared to comparatively recent archaeological combustion features from northern Alaska (ca. 1150 – 4500 BP) and much older contexts including El Salt, a Middle Paleolithic site in Spain. Integrating sedimentological, molecular, and isotopic data can improve the recognition of bone fires in a range archaeological sedimentary contexts, even where bone preservation is poor.

Cite this Record

Sedimentary, Molecular, and Isotopic Characteristics of Bone-Fueled Hearths. Tammy Buonasera, Antonio V. Herrera-Herrera, Carolina Mallol. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452508)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25082