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Distinguishing wild ruminant lipids by gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22956328     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
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. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Oliver E Craig; Richard B Allen; Anu Thompson; Rhiannon E Stevens; Valerie J Steele; Carl Heron
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM     Volume:  26     ISSN:  1097-0231     ISO Abbreviation:  Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-07     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8802365     Medline TA:  Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2359-64     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
BioArCh, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK.
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