Analysis of Fatty Acids in Precontact Ceramics from Barbados, West Indies


Analyses of organic residues on ceramics complement other types of archaeological evidence used to characterize diets of populations colonizing and adapting to Caribbean Islands. Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) is used to identify compounds sampled from 20 sherds excavated from two households (the Goddard Site 200 B.C. - A.D. 300 and Chancery Lane Site A.D. 800-1500). Measurable peaks of fatty acid residues are present on six samples from the Goddard Site. Smaller traces of fatty acids are present on Chancery Lane sherds. A comparison is made of fatty acids by type of sherd (rim/body, size, decoration), and visible types of residue (black and/or white substances). The specific composition of fatty acids present may help identify garden produce (maize, cassava and/or palm lipids) and animal resources such as fish and turtle. Results contribute to the growing field of molecular archaeology and environmental archaeology in the Caribbean.

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Analysis of Fatty Acids in Precontact Ceramics from Barbados, West Indies. Jillian Hendrix, Steven Hackenberger, Diane Ward, Amanda Kaminski, Timothy Ward. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397448)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;