GC–MS ANALYSIS AND FATTY ACID RATIOS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTSHERDS FROM THE WESTERN GREAT BASIN OF NORTH AMERICA*
Version of Record online: 25 FEB 2005
Volume 47, Issue 1, pages 83–102, February 2005
How to Cite
EERKENS, J. W. (2005), GC–MS ANALYSIS AND FATTY ACID RATIOS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTSHERDS FROM THE WESTERN GREAT BASIN OF NORTH AMERICA*. Archaeometry, 47: 83–102. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4754.2005.00189.x
- Issue online: 25 FEB 2005
- Version of Record online: 25 FEB 2005
- * Received 20 December 2003; accepted 24 May 2004.
- FATTY ACIDS;
- ORGANIC RESIDUES;
- GREAT BASIN;
The study of organic residues in archaeological pottery has focused on fatty acids due to their relative stability and longevity. However, even these compounds are subject to degradation, which makes assignment of residues to original foods problematic. This paper suggests that the use of ratios of fatty acids that degrade at roughly the same rate can be useful to identify very general categories of foods. It compares independent information on pot function based on ethnography and engineering/technological studies to that reconstructed based on extracted fatty acid ratios. The results support the notion that Great Basin pots were used primarily to boil seeds and that pot shape and pot function were related.