The ethnoarchaeology of firewood management in the Fang villages of Equatorial Guinea, central Africa: Implications for the interpretation of wood fuel remains from archaeological sites

Publication year: 2011
Source: Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2011

Llorenç, Picornell Gelabert , Eleni, Asouti , Ethel Allué, Martí

In archaeological literature, the study of trees and wood remains is a topic of relatively marginal interest, especially compared to texts on crops and human–animal relations. However, charcoal is the most frequent botanical remain found in archaeological sites. Charcoal analysis can therefore play a major role in the development of studies in both landscape and palaeoethnobotanical reconstruction. The majority of the archaeological charcoal assemblages reflect the exploitation of wood as an energy source (fuel). The archaeological study of firewood selection has been predominantly developed from “eco-utilitarian” or “subsistence economy” perspectives, but has not yet considered fuel collection and use as…

 Highlights: ► An ethnoarchaeological analysis of firewood management among the Fang is presented. ► We discuss it as historically constituted and socially mediated landscape practices. ► In relation to this, we analyze the archaeological visibility of theses practices. ► Accordingly, different approaches to archaeological charcoal analysis are discussed.