Investigating the formation and diagnostic value of ω-(o-alkylphenyl)alkanoic acids in ancient pottery

Manon Bondetti, Erin Scott, Blandine Courel, Alexandre Jules Andre Lucquin, Shinya Shoda, Jasmine Lundy, Catalina Labra-Odde, Léa Drieu, Oliver Edward Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long chain ω‐(o‐alkylphenyl)alkanoic acids (APAAs) derived from the heating of unsaturated fatty acids have been widely used for the identification of aquatic products in archaeological ceramic vessels. To date, little attention has been paid to the diagnostic potential of shorter chain (<C20) APAAs, despite their frequent occurrence. Here, a range of laboratory and field experiments and analyses of archaeological samples were undertaken to investigate whether APAAs could be used to further differentiate different commodities. The results of this study provide new insights regarding conditions for the formation of APAAs and enable us to propose novel criteria to distinguish different natural products.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date3 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors


  • Organic residue analysis
  • Lipid
  • Archaeological pottery vessels
  • ω-(o-alkylphenyl)alkanoic acids
  • Heating experiments
  • Experimental archaeology

Cite this