Burnt structures are well known archaeologically throughout the Near East. This study proposes an integrated interpretational framework for reconstructing fires in mud-brick structures using macro- and micro-archaeological types of evidence employing well-established tools. While previous research often utilized either macroscopic field evidence or micro-geoarchaeological data, here we present the integration of stratigraphy, architecture and location of artefacts in the framework of archaeology of crisis, spatial reconstruction of fire temperatures using micro-geoarchaeology, insights from experimental archaeology, and concepts from fire investigation. We demonstrate the utility of this integrative framework in a high-resolution reconstruction of a destructive fire event that occurred in the Late Bronze Age North-East Temple at Tel Lachish, ca. 1210–1126 BCE. We identify the area of ignition and the fire propagation path, and propose the cause of the fire in relation to the archaeology and history of the site in the 12th century BCE.
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- Fire investigation
- Mud bricks
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