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A collaborative agenda for archaeology and fire science

Humans have influenced global fire activity for millennia and will continue to do so into the future. Given the long-term interaction between humans and fire, we propose a collaborative research agenda linking archaeology and fire science that emphasizes the socioecological histories and consequences of anthropogenic fire in the development of fire management strategies today.

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Fig. 1: Connecting archaeology and fire science.


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This contribution developed from a forum entitled ‘Archaeological approaches to anthropogenic fire and global pyrodiversity’ held during the 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). We are grateful to the SAA organizers for the opportunity to assemble an extensive group of archaeological researchers and practitioners. We also thank R. Baisden for her comments on an earlier draft. Additionally, G.S. was supported in part by an appointment to the United States Forest Service (USFS) Research Participation Program administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) through an interagency agreement between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). ORISE is managed by ORAU under DOE contract number DE-SC0014664. All opinions expressed in this paper are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of USDA, DOE or ORAU/ORISE. Any use of trade, product or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government. S.Y.M. acknowledges funding from the European Commission (Marie Curie Fellowship 792197).

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This Comment was conceptualized by G.S., C.I.R., A.P.S., S.Y.M., D.W.B., M.R.C., K.M.D. and A.K.P. G.S. wrote the original draft; G.S., C.I.R., A.P.S., S.Y.M., D.W.B., M.R.C., K.M.D., L.G., A.K.P. and R.A.L. contributed to review and editing. Visualizations were generated by S.Y.M. and M.R.C.

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Correspondence to Grant Snitker.

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Snitker, G., Roos, C.I., Sullivan, A.P. et al. A collaborative agenda for archaeology and fire science. Nat Ecol Evol 6, 835–839 (2022).

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