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Aquatic Resources in Foodcrusts: Identification and Implication

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JournalRadiocarbon
DateAccepted/In press - 2015
Issue number4
Volume57
Original languageEnglish

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.

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