UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Distinguishing wild ruminant lipids by gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry.

Craig, OE; Allen, RB; Thompson, A; Stevens, RE; Steele, VJ; Heron, C; (2012) Distinguishing wild ruminant lipids by gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom , 26 (19) pp. 2359-2364. 10.1002/rcm.6349.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

RATIONALE: The carbon isotopic characterisation of ruminant lipids associated with ceramic vessels has been crucial for elucidating the origins and changing nature of pastoral economies. δ(13)C values of fatty acids extracted from potsherds are commonly compared with those from the dairy and carcass fats of modern domesticated animals to determine vessel use. However, the processing of wild ruminant products in pottery, such as deer, is rarely considered despite the presence of several different species on many prehistoric sites. To address this issue, the carbon isotope range of fatty acids from a number of red deer (Cervus elaphus) tissues, a species commonly encountered in the European archaeological record, was investigated. METHODS: Lipids were extracted from 10 modern red deer tissues obtained from the Slowinski National Park (Poland). Fatty acids were fractionated, methylated and analysed by gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GCCIRMS). The δ(13)C values of n-octadecanoic acid and n-hexadecanoic acid, and the difference between these values (Δ(13)C), were compared with those from previously published ruminant fats. RESULTS: Nine of the ten deer carcass fats measured have Δ(13)C values of less than -3.3‰, the threshold previously used for classifying dairy products. Despite considerable overlap, dairy fats from domesticated ruminants with Δ(13)C values less than -4.3‰ are still distinguishable. CONCLUSIONS: The finding has implications for evaluating pottery use and early pastoralism. The processing of deer tissues and our revised criteria should be considered, especially where there is other archaeological evidence for their consumption.

Type: Article
Title: Distinguishing wild ruminant lipids by gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry.
Location: England
DOI: 10.1002/rcm.6349
Keywords: Animals, Archaeology, Carbon Isotopes, Deer, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Lipid Metabolism, Mandible, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acids
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences
UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology
?? SWA ??
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1463265
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item