Why a little chemistry is useful to archaeologists:
The archaeological sources are material remains – chemistry is the study of matter and its change
Material remains are affected by the ravages of time – what is left and how it is preserved
Man has always made use of matter and changed it; Man – the Chemist
History C. 1800, first chemical analyses 1896, first physical analyses 1945 New techniques in chemistry, physics and biology 1949, 14 C-dating 1970 Increased application in archaeology 1985 Break-through in organic analyses
Established in 1976 Professorship in 1986, first as an adjoining position but later as a regular chair, in laboratory archaeology (swe: laborativ arkeologi) Since 2005 part of the newly created Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Archaeological Research Laboratory
Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Archaeology Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory Classical Studies Numismatic Research Group Archaeological Research Laboratory
Scientific tools are used to probe the archaeological material for more data Archaeology! Not Archaeology? Not science? Science!
Contamination during excavation Hawaiian Tropic (coconut oil, UV-block).
Contamination during recording Day Cream (palm-tree oil etc)
Contamination during conservation Paraffin From Aveling 1998
Keeping in museums Excavated aDNA mtDNA HTG10 HTG8 Late 1800-tal + - - Late 1900-tal + + + From Götherström 2001 Ancient horse DNA from Birka Alkanoic acids in Norwegian organic residues Is organic residues better off in the ground than in the museum?!
Analytical techniques Prospecting Dating Characterization
Biological origin Chemical analyses of: Fats/Oils Waxes Pitches Tars Leather Textile Food Morphological analyses: Seeds Leather Fur Textile Bone Short-chain fatty acids Long-chain fatty acids and MAG Long-chain ketones and DAG Sterols Triacylglycerols (TAG) IR-spectra of organic residues Gas chromatogram of lipid residues Scanning Electron Micrographs of cells from barley and pea in prehistoric food residue
(Stjerna 1997) Technology Just because its green doesn't mean its bronze
Technology Symbols or Cymbals: the Fröslunda shields From a sulfide ore - late Bronze Age Hammered and annealed – not suitable as cymbals Flattening of slag inclusions – hammered from a piece 15 cm in diameter
Man Diet C- and N-isotopes, trace elements Breast-feeding N-isotopes Sex determination Osteology, aDNA Kinship aDNA Migration aDNA, S- and O- isotopes, trace elements
Living conditions and climate Disease Osteology, aDNA Climate O-isotopes Vegetation, regional Pollen analysis Vegetation, local Plant macro fossils, organic geochemistry