• James M. Skibo
  • Mary Malainey
Part of the Manuals in Archaeological Method, Theory and Technique book series (MATT)


Of the three use-alteration traces discussed in this book, the analysis of organic residue has received by far the most attention. There have been many applications, publications, research grants, and now even commercial labs performing the analysis. When I began the study of organic residues only a handful of researchers had attempted it with pottery (e.g., Condamin et al. 1976; Deal 1990; Deal and Silk 1988; Heron et al. 1991a, b; Hill and Evans 1989; Marchbanks 1989; Patrick et al. 1985; Rottländer 1990) with only moderate degrees of success. The many unanswered questions about the technique precluded it from becoming routine in ceramic analysis. How do organic residues survive in the depositional environment? Do organics in the soil migrate into buried pots and contaminate the sample? For cooking pots, how does heat alter the deposited residues? Which residues should be analyzed? Once residues are identified, are comparative collections available that would make accurate identifications possible? And finally, what are the best methods of extraction and analysis?


Organic Residue Residue Analysis Ceramic Vessel Lipid Residue Indirect Heating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Skibo
    • 1
  • Mary Malainey
  1. 1.Anthropology ProgramIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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