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Characterisation of charcoal assemblages from archaeological sites in the Colombian Amazon region. A model based on ethnography

Archila Montanez, SE; (2000) Characterisation of charcoal assemblages from archaeological sites in the Colombian Amazon region. A model based on ethnography. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis reports on research concerning archaeological charcoal assemblage characterisation from the tropical rain forest in the Amazon region of Colombia. A charcoal assemblage from the archaeological site of Pella Roja has been studied in detail. Pena Roja site is located in the middle Caqueta river of the Colombian Amazon region. Two prehistoric human occupations have been reported from this site. The earliest has been radiocarbon dated to 9250±140, 9160±90 and 9125±250 years BP; and is associated with hunter-gatherers who were aceramic but probably practised small scale horticulture. The later occupation of the site is associated with a ceramic culture where agriculture was practised. This has been dated to between 1900 and 400 years BP according to radiocarbon dates reported at other related sites from the middle Caqueta river. The specific objectives of this research are to build a model to investigate charcoal assemblage formation in archaeological sites from the Colombian Amazon; to formulate hypotheses about prehistoric uses of wood in the middle Caqueta region and to assess the current charcoal analysis in archaeobotany by means of the analysis of a test sample of charcoals from Pena Roja. The identifications of archaeological charred wood fragments were made to Family level and in some cases to Genus level. A model to investigate charcoal assemblage characterisation is based on ethnographic information about present day indigenous traditional uses of wood. The model is applied to the test sample of Pena Roja and may be used to formulate hypotheses about prehistoric wood selection in the region.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Characterisation of charcoal assemblages from archaeological sites in the Colombian Amazon region. A model based on ethnography
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117900
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