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organic residue Analysis

Gas chromatogram of the lipid content of a vase with perforated walls from Dikili Tash. It reveals the presence of palmitic esters, n-alkanes, fatty acids and aliphatic alcohols. This profile is characteristic of beeswax presenting signs of partial degradation (Decavallas 2007, fig. 10.5).Organic residues may either be preserved as a crust on a ceramic surface or through impregnation of porous vessel walls. They are usually amorphous. Residues preserve in very small quantities and are often highly degraded, identifiable only in how they correspond to complex molecular compositions. A range of physicochemical analytical techniques are used for their characterization, such as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Gas Chromatography combined with Mass Spectrometry. Taking into account the properties of the identified materials (e.g., subcutaneous animal fat, dairy products, vegetal oils, wax, or adhesives), one can create inferences regarding the use of vessels..

Last Update : 7/02/12