Woodlands are a key source of raw materials for many purposes since early Prehistory. Wood, bark, resin, leaves, fibres, fungi, moss, or tubers have been gathered to fulfill almost every human need. That led societies to develop specific technologies to acquire, manage, transform, elaborate, use, and consume these resources. The materials provided by woodlands covered a wide range of necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, or tool production, but they also provided resources employed for waterproofing, dying, medicine, and adhesives, among many others. All these technological processes and uses are commonly difficult to identify through the archaeological record. Some materials are exclusively preserved by charring or in anaerobic conditions at very exceptional sites or leave only a very slight trace behind them (e.g., containers). Consequently, they have received far less attention in archaeobotanical studies compared to other kind of plant materials consumed as food or firewood.
This book provides an overview of technological uses of plants from the Palaeolithic to the Post-Medieval period. This collection of papers presents different archaeobotanical and archaeological studies dealing with the use of a wide range of woodland resources, most of them among the less visible for archaeology, such as bast, fibres and fungi. These papers present different approaches for their study combining archaeology, archaeobotany and ethnoarchaeology.
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Marian Berihuete-Azorín, María Martín Seijo, Oriol López-Bultó & Raquel Piqué
Yew wood, would you? An exploration of the selection of wood for Pleistocene spears 5
Ana Jesus & Ferran Antolín
Evidence of the presence and use of Neolithic oil plants in the NW of the Mediterranean and the Swiss Plateau 23
Raquel Piqué, Marian Berihuete-Azorín, Anna Franch, Patrick Gassmann, Josep Girbal, Maria Herrero-Otal, Oriol López-Bultó, Antoni Palomo, Maxime Rageot, Jordi Revelles, Susagna Romero-Brugués & Xavier Terradas
Woody and non-woody forest raw material at the early Neolithic site of La Draga (Banyoles, Spain) 41
In search for prehistoric matting plants: Mat-impressions on pottery from Neolithic and Chalcolithic Bulgaria 59
Mireia Celma Martínez
Long-term effects of forest exploitation in the southeastern Iberian peninsula: An anthracological synthesis or El Argar (2200-1550 cal BC) 69
Plant-based crafts from Iron Age contexts of north-western Iberia: Technological know-how and materiality 97
Usage of tree bast in the Baltic Sea region based on 14th century cog finds 111
Céline E. Kerfant
Ropes and baskets: Case studies from Lanyu, southern Taiwan and the Batanes, northern Philippine islands 123
Henny Piezonka, Vladimir Adaev, Wiebke Kirleis, Olga Poshekhonova & Aleksei Rud
The forest yields it all: A palaeo-ethnobotanical assessment of plant use by hunter-fisher-herders in the Siberian taiga 153