Elemental, isotopic and archaeobotanical analysis were performed on the contents of an intact Dressel 1B amphora from a Roman navis oneraria shipwreck dating back to 100–90 BC, discovered at a depth of 42 m near Albenga (Italy). Analysis aimed at assessing the origin and nature of the samples was carried out. The chemical characterisation, in particular lead content, was consistent with an oenological product produced using ancient techniques. The organic matrix was observed and shown to have deteriorated seriously, with infiltration of sea water and migration from the clay vessel. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) analysis confirmed that the residue was wine, excluding the possibility of the sediment coming from the sea or the clay of the amphora. As regards palynological analysis, the pollen components were useful for diagnosing and characterising the oenological nature and geographical origin of the sample from Albenga. The extremely high percentage of grape pollen suggested that the liquid traded was must or wine subjected to little decantation. Finally, the presence of pollen from certain arboreal species widespread in central-southern Italy is in accordance with the opinion of archaeologists, who have suggested that the cargo originated in the centre-south of the Tyrrhenian area

Palaeobotanical, chemical and physical investigation of the content of an ancient wine amphora from the northern Tyrrhenian sea in Italy / Arobba, D.; Bulgarelli, F.; Camin, Federica; Caramiello, R.; Larcher, Roberto; Martinelli, L.. - In: JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE. - ISSN 0305-4403. - 45:1(2014), pp. 226-233. [10.1016/j.jas.2014.02.024]

Palaeobotanical, chemical and physical investigation of the content of an ancient wine amphora from the northern Tyrrhenian sea in Italy

Camin, Federica;Larcher, Roberto;
2014

Abstract

Elemental, isotopic and archaeobotanical analysis were performed on the contents of an intact Dressel 1B amphora from a Roman navis oneraria shipwreck dating back to 100–90 BC, discovered at a depth of 42 m near Albenga (Italy). Analysis aimed at assessing the origin and nature of the samples was carried out. The chemical characterisation, in particular lead content, was consistent with an oenological product produced using ancient techniques. The organic matrix was observed and shown to have deteriorated seriously, with infiltration of sea water and migration from the clay vessel. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) analysis confirmed that the residue was wine, excluding the possibility of the sediment coming from the sea or the clay of the amphora. As regards palynological analysis, the pollen components were useful for diagnosing and characterising the oenological nature and geographical origin of the sample from Albenga. The extremely high percentage of grape pollen suggested that the liquid traded was must or wine subjected to little decantation. Finally, the presence of pollen from certain arboreal species widespread in central-southern Italy is in accordance with the opinion of archaeologists, who have suggested that the cargo originated in the centre-south of the Tyrrhenian area
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Arobba, D.; Bulgarelli, F.; Camin, Federica; Caramiello, R.; Larcher, Roberto; Martinelli, L.
Palaeobotanical, chemical and physical investigation of the content of an ancient wine amphora from the northern Tyrrhenian sea in Italy / Arobba, D.; Bulgarelli, F.; Camin, Federica; Caramiello, R.; Larcher, Roberto; Martinelli, L.. - In: JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE. - ISSN 0305-4403. - 45:1(2014), pp. 226-233. [10.1016/j.jas.2014.02.024]
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