Analytical pyrolysis Letters
At the Neolithic site Bastuloken, several subterranean embankments have been identified. The corresponding sediments contain large amounts of bones and lithic elements, indicative of not only massive hunting but possibly also a large (elk) skin processing plant. The present study uses analytical pyrolysis and infrared spectroscopy to track changes in organic matter (OM) composition and relate them to past human activities. It appeared that the sediments contained two layers with a very strong and typical collagen fingerprint (dominated by pyrrole and diketodipyrrole), confirming ubiquitous presence of bone and/or meat (the soils are acidic and most bone materials have dissolved). Also, black carbon was abundant in several layers, which is probably an indication of fireplaces. Thus far, the results fit with the hypothesis of major inputs of animal tissue especially during two phases recorded between 30-45 cm and 60-65 cm depth, the first of which also contains higher inputs of totarol, indicative of the use of resin from Cupressaceae (gymnosperm tree). The level of OM preservation in these Neolithic structures is extraordinarily good and shows huge potential for molecular fingerprinting and deepen our understanding of the activities at this important site and the temporary and spatial variability therein.
The mission of Pyrolyscience is to add analytical pyrolysis techniques to the common toolbox of earth and heritage scientists worldwide. It will do so by offering top quality analytical services and data evaluation all the way to the publishing phase (molecular identification, quantification, interpretation, writring). Pyrolyscience.com is also an exchange platform for experts of the field.
Pyrolyscience is a company that provides analytical and scientific services for Py-GC-MS and THM-GC-MS and also aims to provide a platform on analytical pyrolysis research. Due to the complexities of pyrolytic reactions, good research in this field requires knowledge and experience which is not always available, and as a result this molecular characterisation method infra-utilized in many fields. Pyrolyscience provides that know-how in the fields of the Earth and Heritage sciences.