Organic residues preserved in archaeological ceramics from the Early Bronze Age site of Khirbet Al-Batrawy in north-central Jordan

Abdulraouf Mayyas, Khaled Douglas, Thorsten Hoffmann, Ute Thorenz, Ibrahim Bany Yaseen, El Khalili Mohammed

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Twenty one ceramic shreds, from the Early Bronze Age fortified town of Khirbet Al-Batrawy in Jordan, with known archaeological contexts, were tested concerning the preservation of organic residues using gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS) technique. Conventional solvent extraction and alkaline hydrolysis (saponification) were used for the extraction of residues preserved in their fabric. Five of these shreds showed significant preservation of lipid constituents, mainly free fatty acids. The preliminary results of this research provide data on the possible use of plant oil in these vessels and resinous material probably to seal the internal surfaces of the vessels. These results are in conjunction with the archaeological evidence on the availability and use of plant oil in this region, which contribute to the understanding of the usage of ceramic vessels at the site during the Early Bronze Age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-206
Number of pages18
JournalMediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Ceramic sherds
  • Early Bronze Age
  • Fatty acids
  • Gas chromatography - mass spectrometry
  • Khirbet Al-Batrawy
  • Lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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