In this study, Curie-point Pyrolysis Mass Spectrometry (CuPyMS) was used for the characterisation of solid organic residues situated on vessels of different shapes and sizes found in an indigenous settlement from the Roman period at Uitgeest-Groot Dorregeest. The analysis of very small samples produced 'fingerprints' which reflect the chemical composition of the residues. Soil samples of the surrounding sediment were analyzed to check for contamination but no indications could be found for severe post-depositional degradation or contamination of residues with soil components. The chemical composition of the residues was correlated to the size and form of the vessels using Discriminant Analysis in combination with Complete Link Cluster Analysis. This correlation reflects a distinction in original use between vessels of different forms and sizes. The presence of 'marker' compounds for fatty acids proteins smoke condensates and charred polysaccharides detected in the residues gives information about the possible original use of the various types of vessels.

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Journal Anal. Praehist. Leidensia
Citation
Oudemans, T.F.M, & Boon, J.J. (1996). Traces of ancient vessel use: Investigating prehistoric usage of four pot types by organic residue analysis using pyrolysis mass spetrometry. Anal. Praehist. Leidensia, 26, 221–234.