In the frame of the UISPP conference that will be held in Burgos next september we proposed a session entitled “An Archaeology of fuels: social and environmental factors in behavioural strategies of multi-resource management“. The organization of this session is carried out by Ethel Allué (IPHES), Llorenç Picornell (UIB) and Marie-Agnés Courty (PROMES). Our first post consists in the abstract of the session:
The management of fuel resources by past societies has been mostly considered from the perspective of pyrothechnology and fire-related activities, all approached along the fire chaîne opératoire: combustible supply, energy production and fire use, and by-product disposal. Within this frame, combustible are widely assumed to have been for long mainly provided by fresh biomass resources (plant and animal). Therefore, the control of environmental factors on the availability of these resources is generally viewed to have exerted a major role on behavioural strategies of fuel management.
We intend here to debate how a comprehensive approach of fuel management in the archaeological record, through cultural periods and across cultural territories, can help to reach a holistic comprehension of energy control in the social spheres along to human evolution. The session will put together recent investigations of authors coming from a wide diversity of archaeological and environmental disciplines. We expect to generate a compilation of innovative research which will be published in an international high-profile scientific journal or monograph.
We seek contributions on the integrated characterization of fuel resources from all environmental related disciplines (archaeobotany, zooarchaeology and geoarchaeology, geochemistry) and their contextual interpretation in terms of energy production at all scales of occupation units within the frame of archaeological data. We request presentations that critically analyse the relevance of field-analytical procedures, experimental archaeology and ethnoarchaeology to providing a comprehensive data base of indicators with respect to fuel sources, combustion processes, firing products and related residues.
Multidisciplinary attempts to decouple the complex interaction of environmental and social factors on fuel management deciphered from all archaeological records are most welcome. We suggest participants to particularly question our ability to tracing changes in the availability of fuel resources through time, and their repercussion on social behaviour for energy production and various uses (domestic households, manufactures, ritual and funeral practices).