the numerous charcoal and animal bone samples collected in the chamber
fill, there were also accumulations of charred material in five other
areas of the excavation.
1999, a first small “fireplace” (FP1) was found in square E/1, about
80 cm north of the platform edge. Briefly described in the previous
report (Blumer and Vial 1999: 244), this fireplace measured 45 by 35 cm
in surface and was about 10 cm thick. The charred remains were not
particularly well preserved and were agglutinated to the surrounding
sediment. No signs of a built burning structure were visible and the
sediment underneath showed no sign of heating. The charcoal accumulation
could thus well be in secondary position and represent remains of the
clearing of a fireplace located in the vicinity. The altitude of the
charred accumulation is concomitant with the platform base, so that we
can consider both contemporary. Moreover, FP1 was recovered by the
artificial sediment accumulation; the fire is thus directly linked to
the construction phase of the monument.
second fireplace FP2 was documented in 1999 (Ibid:
245-246) and provided a good radiocarbon date (Ibid: 248). It is located near the top of the chamber fill, within
the superficial stones of squares E/3-4. Seven charcoal samples were
retrieved in FP2. The charred remains were very well preserved in form
of charred branches and twigs. The burning action occurred in situ since surrounding and underlying crystalline stones showed
clear evidence of heating. The size of FP1 is about 50 x 50 cm and its
thickness 5-10 cm. Part of the platform superficial stones overlaid the
fireplace. This indicates that the burning event occurred ultimately
before the end of the platform construction phase, and thus some time
before the monument was completed. This sample provided the best
opportunity to date the building of the monument.
2000, we uncovered two more individual fireplaces. The first, FP3, was
located near the southwestern platform corner, in square I/6, and at
about mid-height of the platform. It consisted in a small mass of
charcoal agglutinated to the surrounding sediment, with a maximal
thickness of 3 cm. The altitudes of the charred remains indicate that
the accumulation of sediment between platform and peripheral wall took
sufficient time to let the builders burn material from spot to spot
around the platform. Whether this burning is directly linked to
construction rituals cannot be stated with absolute certainty, but the
absence of specific structural remains around and under the charred
remains indicate a rather short burning process.
FP4 was located in squares G/6-7, against the southern platform flank.
It was laying with a strong southward sloping, its northern end, against
the platform, being about 30 cm higher than its southern edge in square
G/7. The thickness of the charcoal deposit is averaging 3-4 cm. Roots of
the tree, which grew in squares G/5-6, protruded through the charred
square I/1, we discovered three small accumulation of charcoal (FP5)
that were superposed and separated by sediment layers of varying
thickness. It is supposed that three burning processes took place at
this spot during the construction of the western part of the peripheral
wall, or short afterwards during the sediment accumulation.
most of the bigger charcoal remains were found in the
western/southwestern half of monument B3, and none in the
eastern/northeastern half. The reason for this pattern remains unclear.