archaeology and alkaloids preservation

jordi juan-tresserras juan at trivium.gh.ub.es
Wed Aug 28 09:13:34 EST 1996

Dear all,

Recently I found remains of THC in a charred residue from an arabian
pipe from the XIII century levels from an archaeological excavation
near Barcelona (Spain). There are also similar analysis with charred
pipe contents from an archaeological site in Ethiopia from the same

The study of alkaloids in hair, soft tissues, bones or teeth is a new
area of the archaeological research. There are some studies mainly in
mummies from Egypt and South America. Recently some researchers have
began to study these remains in skeletons. At this moment we are
working with some trepaned skulls from several neolithic sites in the
Iberian peninsula. Other microscopic remains as pollen grains, opal
and calicum oxalate phytoliths, sclereids or starch granules from the
dental calculus are also studied.

I am serching bibliographycal references or studies about the
degradation or the preservation of alcaloids. The paleo and
ethnobotanical studies revels that the potential medicinal plants (or
drugs) used in the area are basically Cannabis sativa, Papaver
somniferum, Datura and Atropa. If anyone know some information about
it, please, let me know.




Jordi Juan i Tresserras
Unitat d'Arqueobotanica
SERP/Dept.Prehistoria, H. Antiga i Arqueologia
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA                        
Baldiri i Reixac, s/n   Torre B pis 11            tel/fax:
E-08028-Barcelona                                 e-mail:
juan at trivium.gh.ub.es
(Espanya, Union Europea)

"Cada epoca de la historia modifica el fogon, y cada pueblo come segun
su alma, antes tal vez que segun su estomago" - Emilia Pardo Bazan

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