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An attempt to separate anthropic and natural fire signals in an archaeological context-The case of the Mousterian site Grotta Reali (Rocchetta a Volturno Molise, Central Italy).



This paper presents an image analysis method for automated quantification of charcoal total area, focusing on the charcoal fractions less than 160 μm observed on 14 pollen slides from Grotta Reali samples. Four fire signals were recorded with 4 high values in the microcharcoal concentration curve. On the basis of modern microcharcoal study, mean length/width ratio of the microcharcoal particles was applied in an archeological context as an indicator of vegetal type (wood, grass or leaves). Therefore, the 4 fire signals were separated into two types: high concentration with high length/width ratio, and high concentration with low length/width ratio. Two fire signals might be interpreted as anthropic fire based on hearth or combustion areas, as inferred from archeological remains

Year: 2009
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