Chemical profile of the organic residue from ancient amphora found in the Adriatic Sea determined by direct GC and GC-MS analysis

Molecules. 2011 Sep 14;16(9):7936-48. doi: 10.3390/molecules16097936.


An ancient organic residue was collected from the bottom of a Greco-Italian amphora found in the Adriatic Sea and investigated by direct GC and GC-MS analysis. The headspace composition was determined by HS-SPME using: (1) DVB/CAR/PDMS and (2) PDMS/DVB fibres. Higher percentages of benzene derivatives, monoterpenes and other low-molecular aliphatic compounds were obtained by method (1) in contrast to higher percentage of naphthalene and phenanthrene derivatives found by method (2). In comparison with the composition of pine resin, it is more likely that the found low-molecular aliphatic alcohols, acids, esters and carbonyls with 2-phenylethanol were trapped and preserved within the organic residue from stored wine - the amphora's originally content. Semi-volatile diterpenes methyl dehydroabietate (33.6%) and retene (24.1%) were dominant in the residue CH(2)Cl(2) solution. Other abundant compounds were 1,4-dimethoxyphenanthrene (6.8%) as well as other naphthalene and/or phenanthrene derivatives [7-(1-methylethyl)-1,4a-dimethyl-1,2,3,4,4a,9,10,10a-octahydronaphthalene, 7-(1-methylethyl)-1,4a-dimethyl-2,3,4,4a,9,10-hexahydrophenanthrene, 7-(1-methylethyl)-1,4a-dimethyl-1,2,3,4,4a,9,10,10a-octahydro-phenanthrene, 3,6-dimethylphenanthrene and 2,3,5-trimethylphenanthrene]. Possible sources and formation pathways of the major compounds in the residue were discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ceramics / analysis
  • Ceramics / chemistry
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes / analysis*
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes / chemistry
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Monoterpenes / analysis
  • Monoterpenes / chemistry
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Phenanthrenes / analysis
  • Phenanthrenes / chemistry
  • Polyvinyls / analysis*
  • Polyvinyls / chemistry
  • Resins, Plant / analysis
  • Resins, Plant / chemistry
  • Solid Phase Microextraction / methods
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis*
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / chemistry
  • Wine / analysis


  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Phenanthrenes
  • Polyvinyls
  • Resins, Plant
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • poly(dimethylsiloxane-divinylbenzene)
  • retene
  • rosin