English
 
Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

Shell we cook it? An experimental approach to the microarchaeological record of shellfish roasting

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons127570

Aldeias,  Vera
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons200110

Gur-Arieh,  Shira
Max Planck Research Group on Plant Foods in Hominin Dietary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (public)
Supplementary Material (public)

Aldeias_Shell_ArchaeolAnthroSci_2019.docx
(Supplementary material), 4MB

Citation

Aldeias, V., Gur-Arieh, S., Maria, R., Monteiro, P., & Cura, P. (2019). Shell we cook it? An experimental approach to the microarchaeological record of shellfish roasting. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11(2), 389-407. doi:10.1007/s12520-016-0413-1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-BA9B-5
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the microarchaeological traces and archaeological visibility of shellfish cooking activities through a series of experimental procedures with direct roasting using wood-fueled fires and controlled heating in a muffle furnace. An interdisciplinary geoarchaeological approach, combining micromorphology, FTIR (in transmission and ATR collection modes), TGA and XRD, was used to establish a baseline on the mineralogical transformation of heated shells from aragonite to calcite and diagnostic sedimentary traces produced by roasting fire features. Our experimental design focused on three main types of roasting procedures: the construction of shallow depressions with heated rocks (pebble cuvette experiments), placing shellfish on top of hot embers and ashes (fire below experiment), and by kindling short-lived fires on top of shellfish (fire above experiments). Our results suggest that similar shellfish roasting procedures will largely create microstratigraphic signatures of anthropogenically reworked combusted material spatially “disconnected” from the actual combustion locus. The construction of shallow earth ovens might entail an increased archaeological visibility, and some diagnostic signatures of in situ hearths can be obtained by fire below roasting activities. We also show that macroscopic visual modifications and mineralogical characterization of discarded shellfish might be indicative of specific cooking activities versus secondary burning.