The University of Arizona

Aquatic Resources in Foodcrusts: Identification and Implication

Carl Heron, Oliver E Craig

Abstract


Foodcrusts, the charred surface deposits on pottery vessel surfaces, provide a rich source of data regarding container function. This article reviews recent applications focusing on the detection of aquatic resources (marine and freshwater) in pottery vessels using a range of analytical approaches including bulk isotope measurements of carbon and nitrogen, lipid biomarker analysis, and compound-specific carbon isotope determinations. Such data can help to evaluate the presence of reservoir effects when undertaking radiocarbon dating of foodcrust samples. In particular, molecular and isotopic analysis can aid in the selection of suitable candidates for 14C where it can be demonstrated that aquatic resources are unlikely to contribute to the residue. Prospects for compound-specific 14C analysis of lipids in foodcrusts and ceramic-absorbed residues are also discussed.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_rc.57.18454


Keywords


Foodcrusts; lipids; carbon and nitrogen isotopes; aquatic resources; reservoir effects

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