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Open Access item Characterisation of archaeological waterlogged wood by pyrolytic and mass spectrometric techniques

Authors:Łucejko, Jeannette J.
Modugno, Francesca
Ribechini, Erika
Río Andrade, José Carlos del
Keywords:Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, Direct exposure electron ionization mass spectrometry, Archaeological wood, Lignin, Carbohydrates
Issue Date:2009
Citation:Analytica Chimica Acta 654: 26-34 (2009)
Abstract:A combination of two techniques based on analytical pyrolysis and mass spectrometry, including direct exposure-MS (DE-MS) and pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), was used to study the chemical composition of waterlogged archaeological wood. In particular, the two techniques were used to chemically characterise samples of archaeological wood from the excavation of the Site of the Ancient Ships of Pisa San Rossore in Pisa (Italy). The data were compared to those of native sound wood of the same species. The results highlight that DE-MS is a valuable technique for the characterisation of archaeological wood. DE-MS allows us to use a minimal sample size and to perform the analysis in a few minutes, thus avoiding the long wet-chemical procedures that are commonly used to characterise wood. The results also confirm the importance of Py-GC/MS as a tool for shedding light on the chemical modifications of wood in archaeological objects. The analyses demonstrated that waterlogged wood from the site of Pisa San Rossore have undergone an extensive loss of polysaccharides together with partial demethylation of lignin units, both guaiacyl and syringyl monomers. In fact, catechols and methoxy catechols were identified among the pyrolysis products of the waterlogged wood samples.
Description:1) Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Pisa, via Risorgimento 35. 56126 Pisa, Italy ; 2) IRNAS-CSIC, Seville, Spain; E-mail address: frances@dcci.unipi.it
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2009.07.007
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos

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