Bibliographic suggestions

The purpose of this list is to offer a general overview of the diversity of approaches, both methodological and interpretative, adopted by different research traditions within charcoal macro-remain analysis, alongside some basic texts on wood anatomy used by specialists in this field. It does not claim (or aspire) to be an exhaustive list of everything that has or will be published on the topic.

Note: Please send any bibliographic suggestions you may have (especially of recent publications) to



Asouti, E., and P. Austin (2005) Reconstructing woodland vegetation and its relation to human societies, based on the analysis and interpretation of archaeological wood charcoal macro-remains. Environmental Archaeology 10: 1-18.

Chabal, L., L. Fabre, J.-F. Terral, and I. Théry-Parisot (1999) “L'anthracologie,” in La Botanique. Edited by C. Bourquin-Mignot, J.-E. Brochier, L. Chabal, et al., pp. 43-104. Paris: Errance.

Dufraisse, A. (ed.) (2006) Charcoal analysis: new analytical tools and methods for archaeology. BAR (IS), 1483.

Figueiral, I. and V. Mosbrugger  (2000) A review of charcoal analysis as a tool for assessing Quaternary and Tertiary environments: achievements and limits. Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology 164: 397-407.

Smart, T. L., and E. S. Hoffman (1988) “Environmental interpretation of archaeological charcoal,” in Current palaeoethnobotany. Edited by C. A. Hastorf and V. S. Popper, pp. 165-205. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.

Thiébault, S. (ed.) (2002) Charcoal analysis: methodological approaches, palaeoecological results and wood uses. BAR (IS), 1063.

Vernet, J.-L. (1997) L’homme et la forêt méditerranéenne de la préhistoire à nos jours. Paris: Errance.


Methodology and interpretation

Adriano-Morán, C.C. and E. McClung de Tapia (2008) Trees and shrubs: the use of wood in prehispanic Teotihucan. Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 2927-36.

Asouti, E. (2003) Wood charcoal from Santorini (Thera): new evidence for climate, vegetation and timber imports in the Aegean Bronze Age. Antiquity 77: 471-484.

Asouti, E. (2003) Woodland vegetation and fuel exploitation at the prehistoric campsite of Pinarbasi, south-central Anatolia, Turkey: the evidence from the wood charcoal macro-remains. Journal of Archaeological Science 30/9: 1185-1201.

Asouti, E. and J. Hather  (2001) Charcoal analysis and the reconstruction of ancient woodland vegetation in the Konya basin, south-central Anatolia, Turkey: results from the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük East. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 10: 23-32.

Badal-Garcia, E. (1992) L'anthracologie préhistorique - À propos de certains problèmes méthodologiques. Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France 139:167-189.

Beauclair, M., Scheel-Ybert, R., Bianchini, G.F. and Buarque, G. (2009) Fire and ritual: bark hearths in South-American Tupiguarani mortuary rites. Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 1409-15.

Binney, H.A., Willis, K.J., Edwards, M.E., Bhagwat, S.A. et al. (2009) The distribution of late-Quaternary woody taxa in northern Eurasia: evidence from a new macrofossil database. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 2445-64.

Chabal, L. (1990) “L'étude paléoécologique de sites protohistoriques à partir des charbons de bois: la question de l'unité de mesure-Dénombrements de fragments ou pesées?” in Wood and Archaeology. First European Conference, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1988, pp. 189-205. PACT 22. Download

Chabal, L. (1992) La représentativité paléo-écologique des charbons de bois archéologiques issus du bois de feu. Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France 139: 213-236. Download

Delhon, C., Thiébault, S. and Berger, J.-F. (2009) Environment and landscape management during the middle Neolithic in southern France: evidence for agro-sylvo-pastoral systems in the Middle Rhone Valley. Quaternary International 200: 50-65.

Dufraisse, A. (2008) Firewood management and woodland exploitation during the late Neolithic at Lac de Chalain (Jura, France). Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17: 199-210.

Emery-Barbier, A. and S. Thiébault (2005) Preliminary conclusions on the Late Glacial vegetation in south-west Anatolia (Turkey): the complementary nature of palynological and anthracological approaches. Journal of Archaeological Science 32: 1232-51.

Figueiral, I. (1992) Méthodes en anthracologie - Étude des sites du Bronze Final et de l'Âge du Fer du Nord-Ouest du Portugal. Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France 139: 191-204.

Figueiral, I. (2005) Quantification in charcoal analysis? Yes, but not always possible. Examples from problematic Portuguese sites. In Molera, J., Farjas, J., Roura, P. and Pradell, T. (eds.) Avances en Arqueometría 2005: Actas del VI Congreso Ibérico de Arqueometría (Universitat de Girona, 16-19 November 2005) pp. 223-228. Download

Heinz, C. and S. Thiébault (1998) Characterization and palaeoecological significance of archaeological charcoal assemblages during Late and Postglacial phases in southern France. Quaternary Research 50: 56-68.

Heinz, C., Figueiral, I., Terral, J.-F. and Claustre, F. (2004) Holocene vegetation changes in the northwestern Mediterranean: new palaeoecological data from charcoal analysis and quantitative eco-anatomy. The Holocene 14: 621-27.

Heiss, A.G. and K. Oeggl (2008) Analysis of the fuel wood used in Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age copper mining sites of the Schwaz and Brixlegg area (Tyrol, Austria). Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17: 211-21.

Johannessen, S., and C.A. Hastorf (1990) A history of fuel management (A.D. 500 to the present) in the Mantaro Valley, Peru. Journal of Ethnobiology 10: 61-90.

Kreuz, A. (1992) Charcoal from ten early Neolithic settlements in Central Europe and its interpretation in terms of woodland management and wildwood resources. Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France 139: 383-394.

Kreuz, A. (2008) Closed forest or open woodland as natural vegetation in the surroundings of Linearbandkeramic settlements? Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17: 51-64.

Marguerie, D. and J.-Y. Hunot (2007) Charcoal analysis and dendrology: data from archaeological sites in north-western France. Journal of Archaeological Science 34: 1417-33.

Marston, J.M. (2009) Modeling wood acquisition strategies from archaeological charcoal remains. Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 2192-200.

Ntinou, M. (2002) La paleovegetatión en el norte de Grecia desde el Tardiglacial hasta el Atlántico. Formaciones vegetales, recursos y usos. BAR International Series 1038. Archaeopress, Oxford.

Pearsall, D.M. (1983) Evaluating the stability of subsistence strategies by use of palaeoethnobotanical data. Journal of Ethnobiology 3: 121-137.

Prior, J., and D. Price-Williams (1985) An investigation of climate change in the Holocene epoch using archaeological wood charcoal from Swaziland, Southern Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 12: 457-475.

Rovira, N. and L. Chabal (2008) A foundation offering at the Roman port of Lattara (lattes, France): the plant remains. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17 (suppl.1): S191-S200.

Shackleton, C.M. and F. Prins (1992) Charcoal analysis and the "Principle of Least Effort" - A conceptual model. Journal of Archaeological Science 19: 631-637.

Scheel-Ybert, R., Gouveia, S.E.M., Pessenda, L.C.R., Aravena, R., Coutinho, L.M. and Boulet, R. (2003) Holocene palaeoenvironmental evolution in the São Paulo State (Brazil), based on anthracology and soil δ13C analysis. The Holocene 13: 73-81.

Vernet, J.-L., Meter, A. and Zeraia, L. (2005) Premières datations de feux holocènes dans les Monts de Saint-Guilhem le Désert (Hérault, France), contribution à l’histoire de la forêt relique de Pinus nigra ssp salzmanni. C.R. Geoscience 337: 533-537.

Willcox, G. (1999) Charcoal analysis and Holocene vegetation history in southern Syria. Quaternary Science Reviews 18: 711-16.

Willis, K.J. and T. van Andel (2004) Trees or no trees? The environments of central and eastern Europe during the Last Glaciation. Quaternary Science Reviews 23: 2369-87.

Willis, K.J., Rudner, E. and Sümegi, P. (2000) The full glacial forests of central and southeastern Europe. Quaternary Research 53: 203-13.


Wood anatomy and identification

Barker, J. E. (2005) A prototype interactive identification tool to fragmentary wood from eastern central Australia, and its application to Aboriginal Australian ethnographic artefacts. Ph.D. Thesis, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide [ ]

Fahn, A., E. Werker, and P. Baas (1986) Wood anatomy and identification of trees and shrubs from Israel and adjacent regions. Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Greguss, P. (1959) Holzanatomie der Europäischen laubhölzer und sträucher. Budapest: Akademial Kiado.

Hather, J. G. (2000) The identification of northern European woods. London: Archetype.

Panshin, A. J. and C. De Zeeuw (1980) Textbook of wood technology. 4th ed. McGraw-Hill, NY.

Schweingruber, F. H. (1990) Anatomy of European woods. Stuttgart: Haupt.

Vernet, J.-L., Ogereau, P., Figueiral, I., Machado Yanes, C. and Uzquiano, P. (2001) Guide d’identification des charbons de bois préhistoriques du sud-ouest de l’Europe. Paris: CNRS.

Wilson, K., and D. J. B. White (1986) The anatomy of wood: its diversity and variability. London: Stobart & Son.


©  Eleni Asouti, 2006

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