Geo-ethnoarchaeology of Fire: Geoarchaeological Investigation of Fire Residues in Contemporary Context and its Archaeological Implications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Geoarchaeology focusing on microscopic and chemical remains has contributed greatly to the study of archaeological fire. One of the methodological approaches geoarchaeologists have adopted in the last two decades is the use of ethnoarchaeology to collect reference materials and construct models for how fire residues are formed and preserve or deteriorate in the archaeological record. Geo-ethnoarchaeology uses contemporary contexts to investigate both living and recently abandoned sites in order to directly link human behavior with the formation of microscopic and chemical markers and to follow the post-depositional processes, which affect the formation of the archaeological record. This article reviews the contribution of geo-ethnoarchaeology to the study of archaeological formation processes associated with fire residues through the examination of several key case studies and their archaeological implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-173
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was formed following fruitful discussion during the symposium on the ethnoarchaeology of fire held at the University of La Laguna, Spain. I am especially thankful to Carolina Mallol and Aur?ade Henry, the organizers of this symposium, who encouraged me to focus in my ethnoarchaeological research on fire residues. I thank all the researchers who shared their research with me and together demonstrated the utility of geo-ethnoarchaeology. Last, I would like to thank Shira Gur-Arieh, Marco Madella, Carla Lancelotti and Georgia Tsartsidou for their invaluable comments that helped to improve this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • FTIR
  • Geoarchaeology
  • elemental analysis
  • ethnoarchaeology
  • fire
  • micromorphology
  • phytoliths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology


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