The remains of firewood, which was used at a daily basis in archaeological settlements, are indicators of the environment of a site and its changes due to climate and human impact. The first batch of SEM images of charcoal from Mege, Nigeria, was recently published in the webservice iDAI.objects. The open access images and data serve as a reference for colleagues and provide an introduction to charcoal research for young international scientists.
We have all lacked the opportunity to exchange with colleagues from around the globe in the past year due to home office work and the cancellation of conferences. But now new formats have been found. Three projects of the 'Entangled Africa' program were able to present their research and engage in discussion with colleagues and friends on the topic of precolonial African history in the scope of the multi-platform conference “Extracting the past from the present” organized by Birgit Ricquier and her colleagues. [...]
Charcoal is a common find on archaeological sites. But the full range of information it contains is very often insufficiently used. Pieces of charcoal not only reveal their age (based on radiocarbon dating) but also which tree or group of tree species they once belonged to. This enables the reconstruction of vegetation types, landscapes and climate, and can even provide information about trade relations. [...]