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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Fire Cracked Rock (FCR)

November 10, 2016

Fire Cracked RockFire-cracked and/or burned rock appears primarily in sandstone, limestone, chert or quartzite raw materials. This rock has been culturally modified by burning only and appears as blocky pieces with irregular faces that may have fractured from the fire.  When heavily burned limestone becomes smooth, gritty and crumbles. These rocks usually break apart easily; they sometimes are charred but other than that, color will vary and is not a determining factor.  Pictured is a surface hearth consisting of large quantities of FCR and wood charcoal.  The rock helps to hold the heat and makes cooking more efficient.