Title

Analysis of Fatty Acids in Precontact Ceramics from Barbados, West Indies

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Archaeology, Ceramics, Caribbean

Abstract

Analyses of organic residues on ceramics complement other types of archaeological evidence used to characterize diets of populations colonizing and adapting to Caribbean Islands. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is used to identify compounds sampled from 20 sherds excavated from two households (the Goddard Site 200 B.C.-A.D. 300 and Chancery Lane Site A.D. 800-1500). Measurable peaks of fatty acid residues are present on six samples from the Goddard Site. Smaller traces of fatty acids are present on Chancery Lane sherds. A comparison is made of fatty acids by type of sherd (i.e., rim/body, size, decoration), and visible types of residue (i.e., black and/or white substances). The specific composition of fatty acids present may help identify garden produce such as maize, cassava, and/or palm lipids as well as animal resources such as fish and turtle. Results contribute to the growing field of molecular archaeology and environmental archaeology in the Caribbean

Poster Number

53

Faculty Mentor(s)

Steven Hackenberger, Joanne Peters, Timothy Ward, Diane Ward

Department/Program

Anthropology & Museum Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology & Museum Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Chemistry

Additional Mentoring Department

Chemistry

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May 21st, 11:30 AM May 21st, 2:00 PM

Analysis of Fatty Acids in Precontact Ceramics from Barbados, West Indies

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Analyses of organic residues on ceramics complement other types of archaeological evidence used to characterize diets of populations colonizing and adapting to Caribbean Islands. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is used to identify compounds sampled from 20 sherds excavated from two households (the Goddard Site 200 B.C.-A.D. 300 and Chancery Lane Site A.D. 800-1500). Measurable peaks of fatty acid residues are present on six samples from the Goddard Site. Smaller traces of fatty acids are present on Chancery Lane sherds. A comparison is made of fatty acids by type of sherd (i.e., rim/body, size, decoration), and visible types of residue (i.e., black and/or white substances). The specific composition of fatty acids present may help identify garden produce such as maize, cassava, and/or palm lipids as well as animal resources such as fish and turtle. Results contribute to the growing field of molecular archaeology and environmental archaeology in the Caribbean