Organic residues in iron age II pottery vessels from Jneneh, Jordan

Abdulraouf S. Mayyas*, Khaled A. Douglas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the analysis and occurrence of organic residues in Iron Age II pottery sherds excavated at the site of Jneneh. Gas chromatography - mass spectrometry was used for separation and identification of organic constituents. Conventional solvent extraction and alkaline hydrolysis (saponification) were used for the extraction of residues preserved in their fabrics. Three sherds among six unwashed and unhandled sherds showed significant preservation of organic constituents derived from natural materials. The results provide data on the occurrence of beeswax that could have been intentionally added on the internal surface of a collared-rim jar for storing liquid substances or dry goods. Unintentional occurrence of beeswax as a result of storing honey including beeswax fragments of the honeycomb is also possible. In addition, biomarkers of plant oil were detected in a medium jug and a small jar that might have been used for daily needs, such as food preparation. The absence of significant organic constituents in the other three vessels could be attributed to the degradation overtime during burial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalMediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Ammonite pottery
  • Beeswax
  • Biomarker
  • Ceramic
  • Extraction
  • Gas chromatography - mass spectrometry
  • Iron age pottery
  • Jneneh
  • Lipid
  • Organic residue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Archaeology
  • Conservation
  • Archaeology


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