Archaeochemical Evidence Uncovers Nordic "Grog" - - Chromatography Online
Archaeochemical Evidence Uncovers Nordic "Grog"

E-Separation Solutions

Scientists in the USA have carried out an investigation into the variety of beverages enjoyed by the Northern Bronze and Iron Age peoples before written records began using a combination of analytical chemical techniques.1

Led by Patrick E. McGovern from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Pennsylvania, USA, the team analyzed the residues found on pottery and bronze vessels taken from four different sites in Denmark and Sweden. The vessels ranged in age from approximately 1500 BC to the first century AD.

The team found that the preferred beverage was a hybrid or “grog” consisting of a fermented mixture of honey, fruit (bog cranberry and lingonberry), and cereals (wheat, rye, and/or barley), and, sometimes, grape wine. The compounds were identified by Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry (FT–IR); gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS); ultrahigh-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) tandem MS; and headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to GC–MS.

Of particular note was the presence of grape wine, imported from further south in Europe. According to the authors of the paper, this has an important cultural significance as it demonstrates the social and ceremonial prestige attached to wine. In addition, it also indicates an active trading network across Europe as early as the Bronze Age. 

Classical writers would often depict the Northern-dwelling inhabitants as savages. McGovern commented: “Far from being the barbarians so vividly described by ancient Greeks and Romans, the early Scandinavians emerge with this new evidence as a people with an innovative flair for using available natural products in the making of distinctive fermented beverages. They were also not averse to importing and drinking the southern beverage of preference, grape wine, though sometimes mixed with local ingredients.” This is the first time that the import of grape wine in this era has been chemically proven.

Reference
1. Patrick E. McGovern et al., Danish Journal of Archaeology, DOI: 10.1080/21662282.2013.867101 (2013).

ADVERTISEMENT

blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters
Global E-newsletters subscribe here:




 

LCGC COLUMNISTS 2014

Column Watch: Ron Majors, established authority on new column technologies, keeps readers up-to-date with new sample preparation trends in all branches of chromatography and reviews developments. LATEST: When Bad Things Happen to Good Food: Applications of HPLC to Detect Food Adulteration


Perspectives in Modern HPLC: Michael W. Dong is a senior scientist in Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Genentech in South San Francisco, California. He is responsible for new technologies, automation, and supporting late-stage research projects in small molecule analytical chemistry and QC of small molecule pharmaceutical sciences. LATEST: HPLC for Characterization and Quality Control of Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies


MS — The Practical Art: Kate Yu brings her expertise in the field of mass spectrometry and hyphenated techniques to the pages of LCGC. In this column she examines the mass spectrometric side of coupled liquid and gas-phase systems. Troubleshooting-style articles provide readers with invaluable advice for getting the most from their mass spectrometers. LATEST: Radical Mass Spectrometry as a New Frontier for Bioanalysis


LC Troubleshooting: LC Troubleshooting sets about making HPLC methods easier to master. By covering the basics of liquid chromatography separations and instrumentation, John Dolan is able to highlight common problems and provide remedies for them. LATEST: How Much Can I Inject? Part I: Injecting in Mobile Phase


More LCGC Columnists>>

LCGC North America Editorial Advisory Board>>

LCGC Europe Editorial Advisory Board>>

LCGC Editorial Team Contacts>>


Source: E-Separation Solutions,
Click here