1H NMR, 1H-1H 2D TOCSY and GC-MS analyses for the identification of olive oil on Early Bronze Age pottery from Castelluccio (Noto, Italy)

Davide Tanasi*, Enrico Greco*, Radwan Ebna Noor, Stephanie Feola, Vasantha Kumar, Anita Crispino, Ioannis Gelis

Analytical methods 10(23), 2756-2763, May 2018
DOI: 10.1039/C8AY00420J

The development of analytical research in recent decades, at the edge between analytical chemistry and archaeology, provides new methods for the study of organic residues that are usually highly sensitive to natural decay. Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), it is now possible to chemically identify a series of natural substances preserved in archaeological environments. This paper presents a protocol to detect natural compounds, such as olive oil, from amorphous organic residues discovered inside the pores of prehistoric pottery from the Early Bronze Age settlement of Castelluccio (Noto, Italy), and dated to the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd millennium Before the Common Era (BCE).

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