We describe in this paper a traditional charcoal making technology occasionally adopted by Tuareg people in the hyper-arid central Sahara (SW Libya). This methodology (called esed) has been identified thanks to ethnobotanic and ethnographic interviews with people living in the Tadrart Acacus massif (the kel Tadrart Tuareg) and confirmed by macroscopic and micromorphological analyses of residual field evidence. Esed consisted of burning in situ trunks of dead Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne; subsequently, small portions of collapsed and still-burning wood were buried with sand in an attempt to ensure combustion under anoxic conditions. Our interviews elucidated that the esed technology is well known by people living in the region and has possibly been practiced for a long time. Surprisingly, local informants highlighted that esed was employed to made charcoal only during years marked by abrupt reduction of precipitation and consequently of natural resources. The last employment of esed dates to the dry phase of the mid-1970s, when charcoal was used as an exchangeable good. The discovery of this charcoal making technology shed new light on the capability of Tuareg to manage the few natural resources available in marginal environments and to cope with rapid climate changes.
Burning without slashing. Cultural and environmental implications of a traditional charcoal making technology in the central Sahara / A. Zerboni, I. Massamba N'Siala, S. Biagetti, S. di Lernia. - In: JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS. - ISSN 0140-1963. - 98(2013), pp. 126-131.
|Titolo:||Burning without slashing. Cultural and environmental implications of a traditional charcoal making technology in the central Sahara|
ZERBONI, ANDREA (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||Central Sahara; Geo-ethnoarchaeology/ethnobotany; Rapid climate change; Thin section micromorphology; Traditional charcoal making technology; Tuareg Kel Tadrart|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore GEO/04 - Geografia Fisica e Geomorfologia|
Settore L-ANT/01 - Preistoria e Protostoria
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2013.08.008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|