Daar zit nog een luchtje aan: beerputten en hun vluchtige stoffen

Hondelink, M. & Acierno, V., 2017, Paleo-Palfenier: met Rita van Egypte tot Ezinge. Aalbersberg, G., Boersma, S. & Schepers, M. (eds.). Barkhuis Publishing, p. 79-87 9 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional

Assessing the range of economic plant taxa that were cultivated, procured and consumed by past societies is a difficult procedure within Archaeobotany. Food preparation, consumption and digestion have an impact on the preservation of seeds/fruits, roots, stems and leaves, and moreover it has an impact on their presence or absence within archaeobotanical samples. This results in a bias in favour of the preserved plant taxa, and can overestimate their position within
past diets. Therefore, exploring an alternative methodology, which can indicate a fuller range of edible plant taxa and plant-based products in archaeobotanical samples is valuable. The analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can provide a more representative range of such plants that cannot be identified via traditional microscopic methods (e.g. pulverised herbs and spices, resins and other aromatics). This pilot study has two main aims: to determine if VOCs
related to consumed plant remains are still present in archaeological cesspit samples and to assess the potential application of this method within archaeobotanical research. By comparing the VOCs found in archaeological cesspits with the (species-specific) VOCs mentioned in contemporary food research publications, the share of vulnerable plant species such as herbs and
spices in past societies diet will be better represented in archaeobotanical research.
Original languageDutch
Title of host publicationPaleo-Palfenier
Subtitle of host publicationmet Rita van Egypte tot Ezinge
EditorsGerard Aalbersberg, Siebe Boersma, Mans Schepers
PublisherBarkhuis Publishing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9789492444110
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Archaeology, Cesspit, Volatile Organic Compounds, PTR-ToF-MS

ID: 55022894