6th Experimental Archaeology Conference Poster Abstract – Imma Olich-Castanyer et al
From the 6th Experimental Archaeology Conference, York, 2012.
Experimentation about building and burning a haystack at the AREA of l’Esquerda (Roda de Ter, Catalonia)
Imma Ollich-Castanyer, Montserrat de Rocafiguera, Maria Ocaña
Museu Arqueològic de l’Esquerda, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Haystacks are organic and perishable structures are part of any cereal agrarian landscape, even though mechanisation has mad them disappear from our fields. Inside the experimental archaeology project developed in the area of l’Esquerda since 1990, some of these structures have been built with a double purpose. Firstly, as a necessary part of the agrarian storage project. Secondly, to recognise the evidence of these structures in the archaeological soil. Two haystacks, one made with hay and the other with straw, have been abandoned and the degradation process has been under control. A third has been burnt in order to study the combustion process and the archaeological evidence remaining in the soil. We present the three steps of our experimentation: building a haystack in the ancient way (June 2010), burning it (February 2011), and then excavating the remains (November 2011). We have controlled the processes at every stage, and the data we will obtain from the burned soil will be contrasted with the archaeological data from the mediaeval site of l’Esquerda