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A New Approach to the Study of Archaeological Charcoal: The Case of Metallurgical Furnaces of the Southeastern Altai

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2023.51.2.074-084

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Abstract

In recent years, dendrochronological analysis in archaeology has undergone a substantial transformation, offering an opportunity to use samples of wood that were previously considered uninformative. One striking example is the analysis of charcoal excavated from archaeological sites. We have studied 448 samples of charcoal collected from metallurgical (iron smelting) furnaces in the Kurai and Chuya basins of the Russian Altai Mountains. Earlier methods of preparing such samples were slow and ineffi cient. Our approach guarantees fast, simple, and high-quality preparation of a large number of samples of virtually any size and shape. Its advantages include low cost of apparatus, high quality measurement of annual rings, the possibility of effi cient remote measurement, no need for verifi cation, and a wider range of measured parameters of the annual ring. Hopefully, the new approach will help to solve the critical problem relating to the construction of a tree-ring chronology in the arid zone of Southern Siberia. Such a c hronology will be highly prospective for assessing the age of wood from numerous mounds in the intermountain depressions of the Altai- Sayan region, and year-by-year reconstructions of the humidity regime; and for revealing extreme droughts and other climatic phenomena in this territory.

About the Authors

V. S. Myglan
Siberian Federal University
Russian Federation

Pr. Svobodny 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041



A. R. Agatova
Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Yeltsin Ural Federal University
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Koptyuga 3, Novosibirsk, 630090

Mira 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002



R. K. Nepop
Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Yeltsin Ural Federal University
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Koptyuga 3, Novosibirsk, 630090

Mira 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002



A. V. Taynik
Siberian Federal University
Russian Federation

Pr. Svobodny 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041



M. O. Filatova
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



V. V. Barinov
Siberian Federal University
Russian Federation

Pr. Svobodny 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041



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Review

For citations:


Myglan V.S., Agatova A.R., Nepop R.K., Taynik A.V., Filatova M.O., Barinov V.V. A New Approach to the Study of Archaeological Charcoal: The Case of Metallurgical Furnaces of the Southeastern Altai. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2023;51(2):74-84. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2023.51.2.074-084

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)