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Keywords:

  • NORTHERN GREECE;
  • DIKILI TASH;
  • NEOLITHIC;
  • CLAY ZOOMORPHIC VESSELS;
  • GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY – MASS SPECTROMETRY;
  • ORGANIC RESIDUES

Five fragments of Late Neolithic clay zoomorphic vessels from northern Greece have been analysed for organic residues by gas chromatography – mass spectrometry. The results showed that the containers had been used in connection with a number of substances, in particular lower terpenoids, an oil or fat, possibly fossil fuel and in one case possibly beeswax. The paper considers likely interpretations of such combinations of materials in relation to possible functions of these symbolically enhanced artefacts. It appears that substances may have been used in the vessels because of their aromatic and/or medicinal and combustible properties, possibly in order to produce light, fragrance and/or smoke.