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Carolina Mallol

Dept. Geografía e Historia | Universidad de La Laguna
Presentation: "Ethnoarchaeological Approaches to Paleolithic Fire"

I have carried out micromorphological investigations in different sites contributing to our understanding of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic site formation processes. My current research is focused on the Neanderthal world and prehistoric fire. I am also very interested in two specific methodological issues:

- The dissection of archaeological palimpsests. I would like to find ways to narrow down the temporal scale of observation from which we study the past. I pursue this objective through a microcontextual approach to the study of the archaeological sedimentary record. This consists in applying different high-resolution archaeometric techniques to sediment samples that are microstratigraphically correlated with my micromorphological thin sections and blocks, which provide context. So far, the investigation of archaeological combustion structures, which are high resolution temporal markers, has been a useful tool for dissecting palimpsests.

- The integration of micromorphology and organic chemistry techniques to obtain a picture of past human contexts that takes into account the organic record. I am targeting the black layers of archaeological fires, which are an important sink of well-preserved organic matter.