Resin canals can be caused by many factors. Human "activity" may involve activities as mundane as tree or banch cutting. The mere presence of resin canals in charcoal fragments is not enough to suggest interpretations of this sort.

Dr. Eleni Asouti
Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology,
University of Liverpool
School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
Hartley Building
Brownlow Street
Liverpool L69 3GS

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-----Original Message-----
From: The archaeobotany mailing list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bea Hopkinson
Sent: 11 December 2006 23:40
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Cedrus traumatic resin canals

Some years ago I was given a wooden 'torch' from the Franz Josef shaft at the Hallstatt salt mine from the late Bronze/Early Iron Age.  Is there any way to know whether it was pine, or are you aware of other trees where the resin might be made use of this way?  Also is it reasonable to suppose that the same system was used in Europe at this time ?  

I was most interested to hear of this process as I had thought that the porous wood was probably soaked in some flammable solution.  It seems possible that resin contained in the pores of the wood would provide a flame for a longer period.

Beatrice Hopkinson

>If the formation of traumatic resin canals in your specimens was caused 
>by human activity, a practice which I observed 50 years ago carried on 
>by mayan speaking people in the highlands of the state of Chiapas, 
>Mexico, might offer a clue for the interpretation of your material. 
>Intact, growing, native pines were wounded near the base with axes, 
>later the freshly exposed wood was burned. Afterward, the burned area 
>was scraped clean and the underlying resin-rich wood was split out of 
>the trunk and used for torches.
>Lawrence Kaplan
>From: The archaeobotany mailing list on behalf of Katleen Deckers
>Sent: Mon 12/11/2006 5:09 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Cedrus traumatic resin canals
>Dear colleagues,
>In a lot of the Cedrus charcoal remains from different samples from a 
>Bronze Age site in Syria (Qatna) I found traumatic resin canals. Does 
>anybody know any good literature or information on the causes of 
>traumatic resin canals, especially for Cedrus?
>Thank you very much in advance,
>Katleen Deckers
>Dr. Katleen Deckers
>Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie
>Universität Tübingen
>Rümelinstraße 23, Zi. 316
>D-72070 Tübingen