Although archaeological charcoal fragments retain information on local woodland composition, human decision-which would have filtered and determined the wood taxa brought to the sites-is a primary factor that caused variations in charcoal assemblages. We present anthracological examinations on construction wood of the Chulmun period (8000~1500 BC) in Korea, and examine taxa composition in the retrieved charcoal assemblages. The analyses from five settlements suggest that wood acquisition patterns may vary along a continuum of opportunist-selectivist utilisation and that some archaeological charcoal assemblages are more reflective of human decision than of the locally available wood taxa. Different wood utilisation strategies were undertaken by different prehistoric hunter-gatherer/incipient agriculturalist groups inhabiting the same region with very similar vegetation.
The dominance of Quercus and Fraxinus charcoal in different archaeological sites reflects people’s differential preferences of oak wood and ash wood as building materials at different locations.