L’IPHES-CERCA obtains European Union funding to study past fuel uses

L’IPHES-CERCA obtains European Union funding to study past fuel uses

The ARCHBOTANKA project, coordinated by b with a consortium of five partners from Spain, France and Sri Lanka, receives funding from the European Union through the MSCA-STAFF EXCHANGE call (2023-2027)

The ARCHBOTANKA project, entitled "From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean through ethnoarchaeology of fuel and archaeobotany", has received funding from the European Union through the MSCA-STAFF EXCHANGE (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions - Staff Exchanges) call with the aim of studying fuel management in the past, especially in tropical contexts and, at the same time, facilitate the exchange of knowledge and research and technical personnel between the different participating institutions.

The ARCHBOTANKA project, coordinated by Dr. Ethel Allué (researcher at IPHES-CERCA and professor at Rovira i Virgili University) will involve about twenty people (doctoral students, postdoctoral and senior researchers, technicians and members of non-academic entities) from the University of the Balearic Islands (Palma), from the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (UMR 7209 AASPE/BIOARCH, Paris, France), from the University of Peranediya (Peranediya, Sri Lanka), from MUCBO (Fundació Jardí Botànic de Sóller-Museu Balear de Ciències Naturals, Sóller) and the cooperative Els Corremarges (La Sala de Comalats, Tarragona).

The main objective of ARCHBOTANKA project is to study firewood     procurement practices and energy consumption in the past and their relationship with environmental, economic and social sustainability. In order to achieve this objective, the project establishes the integration of different work methodologies, fields of expertise, facilities and knowledge, which will be shared among the different academic and non-academic organizations from France, Spain and Sri Lanka that make up the project. This project will establish the basis for a sustainable collaboration between academic institutions working with the study of archaeological charcoal (anthracology) and ethnoarchaeology of fuel, and non-academic institutions dedicated to educational resources on ethnobotany and the diversity of human uses of plants.

The project is organized through four objectives

  1. On the one hand, an ethnoarchaeological study of fuel among the Vedda indigenous communities of Sri Lanka coordinated by Dr. Llorenç Picornell-Gelabert of the University of the Balearic Islands with the involvement of Professor R.M.M Chandraratne of the University of Peranediya (Sri Lanka).
  2. At the same time, we will develop a reference collection of plant species (xylotheque) and charcoal (anthracothèque) to support the study of charcoal remains from archaeological sites both in Sri Lanka and the Balearic Islands. This action will be led by the research team of the MNHN of Paris.  
  3. The study of charcoal remains recovered in two prehistoric and historical archaeological sites in Sri Lanka supervised by Dr. E. Allué (IPHES-CERCA).
  4. An educational resource will be created to disseminate the knowledge acquired during the project to society at large, with a particular focus on the educational communities of the various countries within the consortium. The contributions of MUCBO, Els Corremarges, and the scientific socialization team of IPHES-CERCA will be particularly significant in this endeavour.

This project will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and the training of young researchers through short-term stays at various research centres, universities, and non-academic institutions within the consortium.


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