image/svg+xml85XIII/1/2022INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICANATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGYhomepage: http://www.iansa.euA look at the regionFive Years of Advanced Archaeometric Analysis at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Palacký University in OlomoucLukáš Kučera1*, Petr Bednář11Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc, 17. listopadu 1192/12, 771 46, Olomouc, Czech Republic1. IntroductionOrganic residues in archaeological fndings are mostly characterised by archaeobotanical and archaeozoological expertise and common microscopic methods. For their chemical characterisation the focus is usually on the determination of several basic parameters, e.g., total organic carbon, total nitrogen, and the content of phosphate, sulphur, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. However, a more systematic chemical analysis of organic residues in an archaeological context using modern analytical techniques is often lacking (Gofer, 2005).The residues of colorants and pigments on the surface of ancient material are studied using various procedures, as described in several articles (Leon, 2012; Pozzi, 2012; Parras, 2010). The most frequent techniques are based on mass spectrometry with various ionization techniques (i.e., MALDI, ICP-MS, and ESI) and microscopic techniques (i.e., PIXE, Raman microspectrometry, SEM, and EDX). Some of these methods are commonly used in archaeology, mainly for non-organic analysis, for example, mineral composition of prehistoric ceramics (Santos Rodrigues, 2015) or metal artefacts (Oudbashi and Shekofteh, 2015). On the other hand, much less attention has been paid to an objective analysis of food residues in ancient fndings, although these materials when studied comprehensively ofer opportunities to obtain unique information. In many interesting cases, food residues have been found in localities connected with obsequies and other ancient mysteries. Chemical analysis can also help to prove some historical hypotheses, for example, the presence of garlic in graves as anti-vampire prevention and the use of various plant drugs (Cannabis sativa L., poppy extract, opium, etc.) in rituals (Askitopoulou, 2002). Perhaps the most inspirational approach well-worth following was called the Archaeological Biomarker Concept, as introduced by Evershed (2008).In an efort to systematise analytical research in the feld of analysis of organic and composite residues in archaeological fnds, a project entitled “Advanced chemical analysis of residues of organic materials in archaeological context” was prepared by our team at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc in cooperation with the Archaeological Centre, Olomouc, in 2016 and received funding the following year Volume XIII ● Issue 1/2022 ● Pages 85–90*Corresponding author. E-mail: lukas.kucera@upol.czARTICLE INFOArticle history:Received: 10thJanuary 2022Accepted: 10thFebruary 2022DOI: words:archaeometryanalytical chemistryorganic residuesspectrometryspectroscopychromatographyABSTRACTIn modern archaeological research, a close multidisciplinary collaboration with other scientifc areas is necessary, especially with natural sciences (e.g., anthropology, archaeobotany, and chemistry). This kind of collaboration and mutual evaluation of obtained results provides synergistically a series of important information in the context of prehistoric research nowadays. This systematic cooperation among archaeology, heritage science, anthropology, archaeobotany and analytical chemistry has been intensively developed for last fve years at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc. The aim of this short communication is to introduce our workplace and its activities with a focus on the most important outputs from various areas of the archaeometric research.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2022 ● XIII/1 ● 85–90Lukáš Kučera, Petr Bednář: Five Years of Advanced Archaeometric Analysis at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc86from the Czech Science Foundation. This project helped to establish a wider group of cooperating experts from various areas and institutions: the Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Paleoecology (LAPE), Laboratory of Morphology and Forensic Anthropology (LaMorFA), Institute for Archaeological Heritage (UAPP), National Heritage Institute (NPU), Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague (ARÚP AV ČR), the Czech Numismatic Society (mainly the Prague Groschen branch ofce) and other specialised workplaces. Cooperation has also been established at an international level, for example with the University of Wroclav (Poland), Eastern Mediterranean University (N. Cyprus), National Museum in Belgrade (Serbia), Klaipeda University (Lithuania) and the Italian Institute for Conservation and Restoration under the Ministry of Culture (ISCR, Italy). Subsequently, a project in the Operational Programme of the European Union entitled: “Advanced physical-chemical methods of research and protection of cultural and artistic heritage” (OA ITI – ARTECA) was obtained and expanded the expertise of our laboratory to include historical art. The advanced analytical research is performed using modern scientifc instrumentation, including six mass spectrometers with various mass analysers (quadrupole, triple quadrupole,