The use of ash at Late Lower Paleolithic Qesem Cave, Israel—An integrated study of use-wear and residue analysis.

C. Lemorini, E. Cristiani, S. Cesaro, F. Venditti, A. Zupancich, A. Gopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Employing an integrated approach to investigate the use of Late Lower Paleolithic flint tools found at the site of Qesem Cave (Israel), we revealed a particular trace pattern related to the employment of ashes at the site. Using a designated collection of replica items and combining use-wear and residue (morphological analysis, FTIR, SEM-EDX) analyses, we revealed the intentional use of ashes in preserving foods for delayed consumption as well as hide for delayed processing. Our interpretation, we believe is the most plausible one since we were able to delineate the specific use-wear fingerprints of the intentional use of ashes for such purposes, suggesting that our approach might be useful for the recognition of other similar functional-behavioral patterns. Lastly, in support of previous findings at Qesem Cave, our current findings present evidence for the processing of organic matters intentionally mixed with ash, leading us to suggest that the inhabitants of Qesem Cave were proficient not only in the habitual use of fire but also of its main by-product, ash. Hence, we call for a reassessment of the timeline currently assigned to hominins' utilization of ash for storing and processing vegetal foods and hide.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0237502
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • CAVES
  • EMPLOYMENT
  • FOOD preservation
  • FOOD consumption
  • PESTICIDE residues in food
  • FOOD combining
  • HOMINIDS

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The use of ash at Late Lower Paleolithic Qesem Cave, Israel—An integrated study of use-wear and residue analysis.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this