Milking the Residues: Molecular and Isotopic Signatures from Human Prehistory

Start: Mar 03, 2014 04:00 PM

Location: Room 612, Institute of Archaeology

Molecular and Isotopic Signatures from Human Prehistory

Richard Evershed (School of Chemistry, University of Bristol) will give the seventh seminar in the Term II Institute Research Seminar series on Isotopes in Archaeology on 3 March.


The value of archaeological pottery has been substantially expanded in the last two decades or so with the realisation that unglazed porous ceramic fabric provides an exceptional repository of biomolecular and stable isotope information. The major chemical components absorbed and preserved are lipids, raising numerous possibilities for reconstructing past food acquisition and dietary habits, ritual practices and technological activities. At Old World sites degraded animal fats are by far the most common class of organic residue encountered. Intensive investigation of these residues are providing a range of critical new insights into the ways early farmers managed their stock and how prehistoric people were able to consume milk products despite being lactose intolerant.

The seminar will take place at 4pm in Room 612 at the Institute and will be followed by a reception in the Staff Common Room (Room 609).

All welcome!

Any enquiries about the seminar series may be directed to Ian Freestone.

Institute Research Seminar Programme | Isotopes in Archaeology