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Title: The identification of poultry processing in archaeological ceramic vessels using in-situ isotope references for organic residue analysis
Authors: Colonese, A. C.
Lucquin, A.
Guedes, E. P.
Thomas, R. M.
Best, J.
Fothergill, B. T.
Sykes, N.
Foster, A.
Miller, H.
Poole, K.
Maltby, M.
Von Tersch, M.
Craig, O. E.
First Published: 13-Jan-2017
Publisher: Elsevier, Association for Environmental Archaeology
Citation: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2017, 78, pp. 179-192 (14)
Abstract: Poultry products are rarely considered when reconstructing pottery use through organic residue analysis, impinging upon our understanding of the changing role of these animals in the past. Here we evaluate an isotopic approach for distinguishing chicken fats from other animal products. We compare the carbon isotopes of fatty acids extracted from modern tissues and archaeological bones and demonstrate that archaeological bones from contexts associated with pottery provide suitable reference ranges for distinguishing omnivorous animal products (e.g. pigs vs. chickens) in pots. When applied to pottery from the Anglo-Saxon site of Flixborough, England, we succeeded in identifying residues derived from chicken fats that otherwise could not be distinguished from other monogastric and ruminant animals using modern reference values only. This provides the first direct evidence for the processing of poultry or their products in pottery. The results highlight the utility of ‘in-situ’ archaeological bone lipids to identify omnivorous animal-derived lipids in archaeological ceramic vessels.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.jas.2016.12.006
ISSN: 0305-4403
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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