Richard Evershed

Richard Evershed
University of Bristol | UB · School of Chemistry

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552
Publications
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Publications

Publications (552)
Article
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Al-Khiday, located on the bank of the White Nile in Sudan, offers an exceptionally preserved stratigraphic sequence, providing a unique opportunity to use organic residue analysis to investigate diet and subsistence during the Khartoum Mesolithic and the Early Neolithic, a period of nearly 3500 years (7000–4500 cal BC). While the vast and diverse M...
Article
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In fresh waters, the origins of dissolved organic matter (DOM) have been found to exert a fundamental control on its reactivity, and ultimately, its ecosystem functional role. A detailed understanding of landscape scale factors that control the export of DOM to aquatic ecosystems is, therefore, pivotal if the effects of DOM flux to fresh waters are...
Article
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Direct and accurate radiocarbon dating of lipid residues preserved in ceramics is a recently established method that allows direct dating of specific food products and their inception in human subsistence strategies. The method targets individual fatty acids originating from animal fats such as ruminant dairy, ruminant adipose, non-ruminant adipose...
Article
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Purpose Nitrogen (N) transfer from white clover ( Trifolium repens cv.) to ryegrass ( Lolium perenne cv.) has the potential to meet ryegrass N requirements. This study aimed to quantify N transfer in a mixed pasture and investigate the influence of the microbial community and land management on N transfer. Methods Split root ¹⁵ N-labelling of clov...
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In European and many African, Middle Eastern and southern Asian populations, lactase persistence (LP) is the most strongly selected monogenic trait to have evolved over the past 10,000 years1. Although the selection of LP and the consumption of prehistoric milk must be linked, considerable uncertainty remains concerning their spatiotemporal configu...
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The dynamic interactions between dissolved organic matter (DOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) are central in nutrient cycling in freshwater ecosystems. However, the molecular-level mechanisms of such interactions are still poorly defined. Here, we study spatial differences in the chemical (i.e., individual proteinaceous amino acids) and micr...
Article
Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) performed by diazotrophs is vital to our understanding of ecosystem functions, as plant nitrogen (N) is commonly a limiting nutrient for primary productivity. However, significant limitations have remained in our knowledge of the controls and rates of this process, due to technical difficulties in directly quantif...
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Dissolved organic matter (DOM) plays a fundamental role in nutrient cycling dynamics in riverine systems. Recent research has confirmed that the concentration of riverine DOM is not the only factor regulating its functional significance; the need to define the chemical composition of DOM is a priority. Past studies of riverine DOM rested on bulk qu...
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The Sun sporadically produces eruptive events leading to intense fluxes of solar energetic particles (SEPs) that dramatically disrupt the near-Earth radiation environment. Such events have been directly studied for the last decades but little is known about the occurrence and magnitude of rare, extreme SEP events. Presently, a few events that produ...
Article
Recent research has highlighted the importance of dissolved organic matter (DOM) for ecosystem function and because of this paradigm shift, it has become crucial to not only quantify its contribution to river nutrient loads but also to characterise its composition. There has been a significant research effort utilising optical methods, such as fluo...
Article
Over the last three decades, organic residue analysis has been shown to be especially useful in ancient diet reconstruction; however, it is only recently that the direct radiocarbon dating of lipid residues has become a reliable method for dating pottery vessels and food procurement activities. Here, we applied lipid residue analysis to 29 late Bro...
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West African cuisine has long been known for its distinct ingredients and flavours, often enhanced by the addition of a large and diverse range of plant foods. A traditional meal comprises a starchy staple cooked in a pot and served with a sauce prepared from vegetables, fish and/or meat, often accompanied by pulses. However, reconstructing the ant...
Article
Significance Food production systems are critical components in the emergence of complex socioecological systems. In the Andes, societal complexity has often been related to the increasing production and consumption of maize by elites, but the importance of highland cultivated crops, such as potatoes, one of the most cultivated crops in the world,...
Article
Wetlands play a crucial role in the carbon cycle as they are the largest natural source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Changes in wetland hydrology can alter the rate of greenhouse gas release from wetlands and have the potential to alter Earth’s carbon budget. However, the microbial dynamics underpinning these observations are poorly constra...
Article
The subsistence practices of Holocene communities living in the Nile Valley of Central Sudan are comparatively little known. Recent excavations at Khor Shambat, Sudan, have yielded well-defined Mesolithic and Neolithic stratigraphy. Here, for the first time, archaeozoological, palaeobotanical, phytolith and dental calculus studies are combined with...
Preprint
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Stable nitrogen (N) isotope analysis of bulk tissues is a technique for reconstructing the diets of organisms. However, bulk nitrogen isotope (δ ¹⁵ N) values can be influenced by a variety of metabolic and environmental factors that can confound accurate dietary reconstruction. Compound-specific isotope analyses of amino acids (CSIA-AA) have demons...
Article
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Small ceramic vessels with spouts, from which liquid can be poured, became popular during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in Central Europe (c. 1200–600 BC). Such feeding vessels represent a functional type and are highly variable in size, shape and decoration. Found both on settlements and within graves, their association with child burials su...
Article
The analysis of lipids and other biomolecules preserved in archaeological artefacts, using chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques, is a powerful approach, which has provided unprecedented insights into the diet and cultural practices of past populations. In more recent years, the now-mature field of organic residue analysis (ORA) has ent...
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The analysis of processing standards alongside samples for quality assurance in radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) analyses is critical. Ideally, these standards should be similar both in nature and age to unknown samples. A new compound-specific approach was developed at the University of Bristol for dating pottery vessels using palmitic and stearic fatty acids...
Article
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Honey and other bee products were likely a sought-after foodstuff for much of human history, with direct chemical evidence for beeswax identified in prehistoric ceramic vessels from Europe, the Near East and Mediterranean North Africa, from the 7th millennium BC. Historical and ethnographic literature from across Africa suggests bee products, honey...
Article
The Alsace region bordering the Rhine River was extensively occupied during the Neolithic by farming societies with domesticated animal. The first settlers were two sub-groups of the Linearbandkeramik who appeared to diverge in several respects, including: pottery styles, house orientations and funerary rituals. To explore whether this was reflecte...
Article
The Neolithic site of Bylany (CZ) is one of the largest and most thoroughly described Neolithic settlement in Central Europe. Although a comprehensive understanding has been achieved of the household development and pottery assemblage, little is known about household economies, dietary practices and animal exploitation strategies at the site. Nowad...
Article
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Chemical analyses of carbonized and absorbed organic residues from archaeological ceramic cooking vessels can provide a unique window into the culinary cultures of ancient people, resource use, and environmental effects by identifying ingredients used in ancient meals. However, it remains uncertain whether recovered organic residues represent only...
Article
Zusammenfassung In diesem Beitrag wird der Fundplatz Generalka 2 auf der Insel Chortica bei der Stadt Zaporižžja in der Ukraine vorgestellt. Seit dem Jahr 2000 finden hier regelmäßig Ausgrabungen statt, bei denen mehrere Grabensegmente freigelegt wurden. Die Funde, insbesondere die Keramik, sind typisch für die Jamnaja-Kultur (Grubengrabkultur) und...
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The application of biomolecular techniques to archaeological materials from the Balkans is providing valuable new information on the prehistory of the region. This is especially relevant for the study of the neolithisation process in SE Europe, which gradually affected the rest of the continent. Here, to answer questions regarding diet and subsiste...
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Excavations on the south-eastern slopes of King Barrow Ridge, 1.5 km east of Stonehenge, revealed five pits, a grave and other features of Middle Neolithic date. Analysis of the pit assemblages and the partial inhumation interred in the grave has provided insights into lifeways in this landscape in the late fourth millennium cal BC. Evidence sugges...
Article
In 2015, excavations at Stainton Quarry, Furness, Cumbria, recovered remains that provide a unique insight into Early Neolithic farming in the vicinity. Five pits, a post-hole, and deposits within a tree-throw and three crevices in a limestone outcrop were investigated. The latter deposits yielded potentially the largest assemblage of Carinated Bow...
Article
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The development of pastoralism transformed human diets and societies in grasslands worldwide. The long-term success of cattle herding in Africa has been sustained by dynamic food systems, consumption of a broad range of primary and secondary livestock products, and the evolution of lactase persistence (LP), which allows digestion of lactose into ad...
Article
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https://rdcu.be/b3s6J Pottery is one of the most commonly recovered artefacts from archaeological sites. Despite more than a century of relative dating based on typology and seriation1, accurate dating of pottery using the radiocarbon dating method has proven extremely challenging owing to the limited survival of organic temper and unreliability o...
Article
At archaeological sites located on islands or near the coast, the potential exists for lipid extracts of potsherds to contain fatty acids (FA) from both aquatic and terrestrial organisms, meaning that consideration must be given to marine reservoir effects (MRE) in radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) analyses. Here we studied the site of Bornais (Outer Hebrides, U...
Article
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Birch bark tar is a manufactured product with a history of production and use that reaches back to the Palaeolithic. Its sticky, water resistant and biocidal properties mean that it has a wide range of applications, for example, as a multipurpose adhesive, sealant and in medicine. Archaeological evidence for birch bark tar in the old world covers a...
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This article presents the results of the first dedicated study of organic residues in Portugal, extracted from pottery excavated from Anta 1 de Val da Laje passage grave. We fully exploit the organic residue extract, to obtain information regarding the diet of the people and their relationship with the environment, the socio-economic aspects of an...
Article
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The site of Sphinx (SBK.W-60) is located about 3.5 km from the present Nile in the western part of Jebel Sabaloka, upstream of the Sixth Nile Cataract, in Sudan. This site uniquely includes Early Khartoum (Mesolithic) artifacts with no intrusive elements and has been dated from the ninth to the end of the sixth millennium cal BC. Excavations at Tre...
Article
The transition from hunter-gathering to food-producing societies in the Mediterranean zone of north Africa was complex and variable, likely influenced by local ecological conditions as well as the socio-economic origins of the population. The adoption of domestic plants and animals was piecemeal, with hunting and gathering continuing as an importan...
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The study of childhood diet, including breastfeeding and weaning, has important implications for our understanding of infant mortality and fertility in past societies¹. Stable isotope analyses of nitrogen from bone collagen and dentine samples of infants have provided information on the timing of weaning²; however, little is known about which foods...
Article
Although amino sugars represent a major component of soil organic nitrogen (ON), the assimilation of nitrate (NO3⁻) and ammonium (NH4⁺) into amino sugars (AS) by soil bacteria and fungi represents a neglected aspect of the global N cycle. A deeper knowledge of AS responses to N fertiliser addition may help enhance N use efficiency (NUE) within agri...
Article
Over 120 prehistoric pottery sherds from mainland Finland and the Åland Islands in the north Baltic region were studied for their organic residue content. Preserved fat residues found in these vessels indicated that the food procurement pattern was broad during the Neolithic and Early Metal periods. Based on previous research and these results, it...
Article
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Organic residue analyses of archaeological ceramics can provide important insights into ancient foodways. To date, however, there has been little critical reflection on how lipid residues might (or might not) reflect dietary practices or subsistence strategies more generally. A combination of ethnoarchaeological research and chemical and isotopic a...
Article
The Bristol Radiocarbon Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (BRAMS) Facility was established at the University of Bristol after the commissioning of our dedicated sample preparation laboratories and the installation and acceptance of the BrisMICADAS AMS in 2016. Routine measurements commenced in mid-2016, once validation was completed for each sample typ...
Article
Amino acid δ¹⁵N values of foliage of various plant taxa, grown at the experimental farm stations of North Wyke, UK and Bad Lauchstädt, Germany were determined by GC-C-IRMS. The difference between δ¹⁵N values of glutamate (Glx) and phenylalanine (Phe) were found to differ significantly between woody and herbaceous plants, with mean Δ¹⁵NGlx-Phe (i.e....
Article
Molecular fossils (biomarkers)are abundant in organic rich natural archives such as peats and lignites (fossilized peat), where their distribution is governed by their biological source, environmental factors, such as temperature and pH, and diagenetic reactions. As a result, biomarkers in peat have become an important tool to study past variations...
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Supplementary data table to Yates et al. (2019) Variation in dissolved organic matter (DOM) stoichiometry in U.K. freshwaters: Assessing the influence of land cover and soil C:N ratio on DOM composition. Table 2: Mean determinand concentrations ±1 SD in parentheses for all samples collected.
Article
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Supplementary Table 2 for Yates et al., (2019) Variation in dissolved organic matter (DOM) stoichiometry in U.K. freshwaters: Assessing the influence of land cover and soil C:N ratio on DOM composition, Limnology and Oceanography 64, 2328-2340.
Article
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Bog butters are large white or yellow waxy deposits regularly discovered within the peat bogs of Ireland and Scotland. They represent an extraordinary survival of prehistoric and later agricultural products, comprising the largest deposits of fat found anywhere in nature. Often found in wooden containers or wrapped in animal bladders, they are cons...
Article
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The spread of early farming across Europe from its origins in Southwest Asia was a culturally transformative process which took place over millennia. Within regions, the pace of the transition was probably related to the particular climatic and environmental conditions encountered, as well as the nature of localized hunter-gatherer and farmer inter...
Article
Full-text available
The spread of early farming across Europe from its origins in Southwest Asia was a culturally transformative process which took place over millennia. Within regions, the pace of the transition was probably related to the particular climatic and environmental conditions encountered, as well as the nature of localized hunter–gatherer and farmer inter...
Data
Supplementary information to Cramp et al. Regional diversity in subsistence among early farmers in Southeast Europe revealed by archaeological organic residues.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This document provides guidance for good practice in the recovery, analysis and publication of organic residues from archaeological sites. It has been written for a range of archaeological professionals, including local authority archaeology officers, archaeological units and consultants, project managers, museum curators, conservators and pottery...
Article
Organic residue analysis utilizes analytical organic chemical techniques to identify the nature and origins of organic remains that cannot be identified using traditional techniques of archaeological investigation because they are either amorphous, invisible, or present at trace concentrations. Investigations have confirmed the survival of a wide r...
Article
Cholesterol is generally absent in animal fat residues preserved in archaeological ceramic vessels. It is known from edible oil refining that during bleaching with activated clay sterols are degraded, largely via oxidation. Laboratory heating experiments using fired clay from replica pottery vessels promoted rapid degradation of cholesterol via oxi...