Les pautes de consum durant el neolític a la panínsula ibèrica. Les anàlisis de lípids en productes ceràmics.

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The onset of the Neolithic period is marked by a series of profound economic and so-cial changes which affected the way of life of populations, especially, in the Mediter-ranean. In this spatial framework, the dissemination of pottery and the replacement of hunting-harvesters-fishermen practices by a farming model became the cause of change in the modes of food consumption. The possibility of boiling or mixing food-stuffs allowed people to access a new range of food products and culinary practic-es. However, the data that are available on these issues for the Neolithic in the Iberian Peninsula are scarce. In this sense, the incorporation of new analytical techniques in Archeology offers the opportunity to obtain new types of data that, until recently, were unknown about how the Neolithic developed in our territory. In this doctoral thesis we have aimed to generate new data and knowledge on these culinary changes based on the molecular analysis of organic residues preserved in ce-ramic vessels in the western part of the Mediterranean between 5600 and 3800 cal BC. A total of 205 ceramic vessels have been analyzed with organic geochemical tech-niques, including mass spectrometry and stable isotopic ratio mass spectrome-try. About 62% of the vessels studied have yielded archaeological lipids derived from the degradation of animal and plant products that were processed in the vessels. The interpretation of the organic residues is usually quite complex and based on refer-ence models from specific regions of Europe. To tackle this issue a new reference model of animal fats has been assembled for our target study region. The aim is not only to consider animal species potentially consumed during the Neolithic in the Iberi-an Peninsula that hitherto were not studied; but also, to investigate culinary practices that combined different species of domesticated and wild animals. Based on the characterization of these compounds, the exploitation of available re-sources has been established, like the use of beeswax. The identification of this residue is in fact the oldest ever identified in a container to the present day in the Iberian Pen-insula. The characterization of animal fats in Neolithic ceramic containers has also allowed us to confirm the direct evidence of the processing of dairy products from the south of the Iberian Peninsula to the Pyrenees. The treatment of the data from a multidisciplinary perspective offers the possibility to go further in the interpre-tations of the results, and to dwell deeper on the practices of subsistence and the use of the ceramic containers that were used during the Neolithic. As a result of this research, a new door opens up to the study of ceramic contain-ers that goes beyond the analysis of decorations and offers great new deal of information about the economy and the exploitation of resources at the onset of new way of life that shaped the future of Mediterranean communities.
Date of Award19 Dec 2019
Original languageCatalan
Awarding Institution
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
SupervisorMaria Saña Segui (Director) & Antoni Rosell Melé (Director)

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