Characterization of lipids preserved in Roman cooking pots by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS)


Lipid extracts of sherds of Roman cooking pots from the Temple of Apollo in Hierapolis (southwest Turkey) were analyzed using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GCMS). The high relative abundance of saturated fatty acids, especially stearic acid, together with the presence of cholesterol, suggests that animal fats were processed in these pots. The detection of branched and odd chain fatty acids further indicate a possible ruminant source for these lipids. The data show also the presence of plant-derived products, like campesterol and b-sitosterol. The aim of this research is to illustrate how lipid analysis of pottery vessels, together with the information from archaeological context, can contribute to a better understanding of food habits and ritual activities in past ancient societies.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i9788883050718p88

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