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Article

What about Dinner? Chemical and Microresidue Analysis Reveals the Function of Late Neolithic Ceramic Pans

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Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Palaeoecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Na Zlaté stoce 3, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
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Institute of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
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Kej 8 Noemvri br.24/6, 6330 Struga, North Macedonia
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Centre of Biology, Geosciences and Environmental Education, University of West Bohemia, Univerzitni 8, 30614 Plzen, Czech Republic
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Laboratory of Palynology and Paleobotany, Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, via G. Campi 287, 41125 Modena, Italy
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Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 118 01 Prague, Czech Republic
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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Palacký University, 17. Listopadu 12, 779 00 Olomouc, Czech Republic
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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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Central European Institute of Technology, Brno University of Technology, Technická 123, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Przemyslaw Niedzielski
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3391; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113391
Received: 14 May 2021 / Revised: 29 May 2021 / Accepted: 2 June 2021 / Published: 3 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Analytical Chemistry)
The Late Neolithic palafitte site, Ustie na Drim, in the northern part of Lake Ohrid (North Macedonia), excavated in 1962, offered ceramic fragments of large, flat, elongated pans. These artifacts could be dated by relative chronology to roughly around 5200–5000 BC. According to their shape and technological traits, the ceramic pans were probably used for baking. The attached materials on the surface of studied pan fragments were sampled for consequent chemical and microscopical analyses (i.e., analyses of starch, phytoliths, and microscopic animal remains). An immunological method revealed the presence of pork proteins in samples. The presence of organic residues of animal origin was, moreover, confirmed by the detection of cholesterol using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Analysis of detected microscopic botanical objects revealed starch grains of several plants (i.e., oak, cattail, and grasses). An interesting find was the hair of a beetle larva, which could be interpreted contextually as the khapra beetle, a pest of grain and flour. Based on our data, we suppose that the ceramic pans from Ustie na Drim were used for the preparation of meals containing meat from common livestock in combination with cereals and wild plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: archaeobotany; ceramic vessel; cholesterol; pests; phytoliths; starch; proteins; gas chromatography archaeobotany; ceramic vessel; cholesterol; pests; phytoliths; starch; proteins; gas chromatography
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MDPI and ACS Style

Beneš, J.; Todoroska, V.; Budilová, K.; Kovárník, J.; Pavelka, J.; Atanasoska, N.; Bumerl, J.; Florenzano, A.; Majerovičová, T.; Vondrovský, V.; Ptáková, M.; Bednář, P.; Richtera, L.; Kučera, L. What about Dinner? Chemical and Microresidue Analysis Reveals the Function of Late Neolithic Ceramic Pans. Molecules 2021, 26, 3391. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113391

AMA Style

Beneš J, Todoroska V, Budilová K, Kovárník J, Pavelka J, Atanasoska N, Bumerl J, Florenzano A, Majerovičová T, Vondrovský V, Ptáková M, Bednář P, Richtera L, Kučera L. What about Dinner? Chemical and Microresidue Analysis Reveals the Function of Late Neolithic Ceramic Pans. Molecules. 2021; 26(11):3391. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113391

Chicago/Turabian Style

Beneš, Jaromír, Valentina Todoroska, Kristýna Budilová, Jaromír Kovárník, Jaroslav Pavelka, Nevenka Atanasoska, Jiří Bumerl, Assunta Florenzano, Tereza Majerovičová, Václav Vondrovský, Michaela Ptáková, Petr Bednář, Lukáš Richtera, and Lukáš Kučera. 2021. "What about Dinner? Chemical and Microresidue Analysis Reveals the Function of Late Neolithic Ceramic Pans" Molecules 26, no. 11: 3391. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113391

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