An Anatomic Study of Wood Charcoal Discovered from the Archaeological Site of Kelar, Kelardasht in North of Iran

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Associate Professor of Archaeology, Shahrekord University, Iran

2 Professor of Archaeology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


This study aims to present qualitative and quantitative explanations of eight kinds of charcoal discovered from an archeological site at Tepe Kelar in northern Iran. The excavations were carried out in 2006 and 2008. In addition to cultural remains, different kinds of charcoals were discovered hence, their descriptive analysis provided valuable information about culture and ecology of the region during the prehistoric period. To analyze the samples, thin transverses and their radial sections were prepared and analyzed using Electron Microscope, and specifications of the vessels, tissue, wood rays, and other elements of them were measured and recorded. The identification of the woods was initially conducted through the microscopic properties of hardwood and the findings were then compared with the Atlas of woods in North of Iran. The taxonomic identification using the wood anatomy showed that four samples belong to the genus Fagus Orientalis Lipsky 1898, one of which belongs to genus Corylus Avellana 1753 and the remaining three samples were not recognizable due to their small size. In the third trench, ruins of a metal melting kiln were discovered together with large pieces of charcoals. It is likely that wood species identified in this study were used to melt metals in the Bronze and Iron Ages.


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