The nature of this proposal is ethnoarchaeological. It
aims at appreciating the importance and the variability of the exploitation modalities
of the plant biomass by human groups in Arctic and subarctic environments (craft
activities, fuel, etc.).
In prehistory, in the study of the material cultures,
the very great scarcity and the deterioration of plant remains lead to a
systematic undervaluation of the importance of plants in the material but also
symbolical record. This proposal aims at developing and testing methodologies allowing
to interpret these often fugacious remains in environmental, but also societal terms
(vegetation, techniques, lifeways, subsistence, etc.).
The final objective is to understand the place of plant
resource management systems in the material and symbolic world of societies, to
evaluate their archaeological visibility and to start a reflection on the role
of plants and vegetal landscapes in the cultural identity of the groups.
In order to consider variability factors, the first
fieldworks take place in taiga environments and will be followed by
investigation in the tundra.. Fieldwork is articulated with ongoing Russian
ethnoarchaeological and archaeological research programs.