A Multidisciplinary Study of Burnt Deposits at Surungur, Fergana Valley, Southern Kyrgyzstan
Multidisciplinary Study of Burnt Deposits at Surungur, Fergana Valley, Southern Kyrgyzstan
I.E. Dedov1, E.P. Kulakova2, M.V. Shashkov1, 3, A.A. Zhdanov3, E.V. Parkhomchuk1, 4, T. Chargynov5, and S.V. Shnaider1 1Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia 2Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences, Bolshaya Gruzinskaya 10, bldg. 1, Moscow, 123242, Russia 3Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 5, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia 4Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Center for Collective Use, Novosibirsk State University, Pirogova 1, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia 5Jusup Balasagyn Kyrgyz National University, Frunze 547, Bishkek, 720033, Kyrgyzstan
Burnt deposits are an important source of information on ancient lifestyles, providing the possibility of reconstructing the size, intensity of use, and functions of fireplaces at prehistoric settlements, and to assess fuel sources. We outline the results of a multidisciplinary study of fireplaces and their contexts at Surungur—a stratified site in the Fergana Valley, in southern Kyrgyzstan. Sixteen samples from ash lenses and intermediate deposits were studied by rock-magnetism, gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). The rock-magnetic analysis suggests that the origin of all samples from ash lenses was anthropogenic. Types of fuel were reconstructed. At the initial stage (Early Holocene), the encompassing deposits likely resulted from short-term occupation, and fuel consisted of wood and grass/dung. In the Middle Holocene, occupation became more long-term, as evidenced by maximal heating temperatures and high concentration of fireplaces. During the Late Holocene, habitation intensity on the platform under the stone ledge remained the same, but heating was less intense. Wood and grass/dung were used as fuel at all stages, suggesting that wood was available in the region throughout the Holocene.
Keywords: Fergana valley, archaeological site, fireplace, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), rock-magnetism