Several studies have been performed so far for the effective recovery, detection and quantification of specific compounds and their degradation products in archaeological materials. According to the literature, lipid molecules are the most durable and widespread biomarkers in ancient pottery. Artificial ageing studies to simulate lipid alterations over time have been reported. In this review, specific lipid archaeological biomarkers and well-established sampling and extraction methodologies are discussed. Although suitable analytical techniques have unraveled archaeological questions, some issues remain open such as the need to introduce innovative and miniaturized protocols to avoid extractions with organic solvents, which are often laborious and non-environmentally friendly.
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