Archaeology Online: Preserved molecules in pottery and ancient dietary practices in Britain : 31 January 2024

Organic residue analysis of pottery is a scientific technique that extracts the biomolecules absorbed into the fabric of pots and identifies molecular ‘fingerprints,’ which reveal the pots’ original contents. Over the past few decades, this application has been applied to many hundreds of pottery sherds from Britain. It has illuminated new aspects of past dietary practices from the contents of Medieval cooking pots through to the use of pots discarded around mysterious Scottish Neolithic crannogs.

This talk will give an overview of the major developments that have taken place in the field of organic residue analysis in recent years, and show how it has been applied to understand major questions relating to subsistence and food-related practices over time and space.

Speaker: Lucy is an Associate Professor in Archaeology at the University of Bristol. She is a biomolecular archaeologist and her research focusses on the ancient patterns of human subsistence and culinary choices. This extends from the diet of the earliest farmers on the British Isles, to the use of Roman-style culinary vessels in Britain, through to identifying components of balms used in mummification in ancient Egypt.

The lecture is on the 31st January at 7.30pm, free and via Zoom.

For more info and to book, please go to :

Archaeology online: Preserved molecules in pottery and ancient dietary practices in Britain

Archaeology Online is a joint venture between BACAS, BAAS, BGAS and Bristol Museums.