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New investigations into the Uluburun resin cargo
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New investigations into the Uluburun resin cargo

Author: B Stern; C Heron; T Tellefsen; M Serpico Affiliation: Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Journal of Archaeological Science, v35 n8 (2008): 2188-2203
Other Databases: WorldCatWorldCatWorldCat
Summary:
Resin found within Canaanite amphorae from the Late Bronze Age shipwreck discovered off the coast of southwest Turkey at Uluburun has previously been identified as Pistacia sp. Although evidence from Egypt suggests that this resin was in high demand and typically transported in such amphorae, it has also been proposed that the amphorae contained wine, with the resin used to seal the interior surfaces and to flavour and/or preserve the wine. To attempt to resolve this question, we have analysed five samples of pistacia resin found in amphorae from the shipwreck using a range of analytical techniques which have used in the past for the analysis of wine residues: spot tests, FT-IR, and HPLC-MS-MS. As well as the archaeological samples, we have analysed modern samples of pistacia resin, leaves and fruit to determine the effectiveness of each technique and to exclude the possibility of false positive results. In addition to the analyses for wine we also detail analysis (GC-MS) of the terpenoids for the purpose of further molecular characterisation of the resin. Bulk stable isotope analysis was used in comparison with similar resins to attempt to identify the geographical origin of the resin.  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: B Stern; C Heron; T Tellefsen; M Serpico Affiliation: Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK
ISSN:0305-4403
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 4933150115
Awards:

Abstract:

Resin found within Canaanite amphorae from the Late Bronze Age shipwreck discovered off the coast of southwest Turkey at Uluburun has previously been identified as Pistacia sp. Although evidence from Egypt suggests that this resin was in high demand and typically transported in such amphorae, it has also been proposed that the amphorae contained wine, with the resin used to seal the interior surfaces and to flavour and/or preserve the wine. To attempt to resolve this question, we have analysed five samples of pistacia resin found in amphorae from the shipwreck using a range of analytical techniques which have used in the past for the analysis of wine residues: spot tests, FT-IR, and HPLC-MS-MS. As well as the archaeological samples, we have analysed modern samples of pistacia resin, leaves and fruit to determine the effectiveness of each technique and to exclude the possibility of false positive results. In addition to the analyses for wine we also detail analysis (GC-MS) of the terpenoids for the purpose of further molecular characterisation of the resin. Bulk stable isotope analysis was used in comparison with similar resins to attempt to identify the geographical origin of the resin.

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