Historical or archaeological wooden objects are generally better conserved in wet environments than in other contexts. Nevertheless, anaerobic erosion bacteria can slowly degrade waterlogged wood, causing a loss of cellulose and hemicellulose and leading to the formation of water-filled cavities. During this process, lignin can also be altered. The result is a porous and fragile structure, poor in polysaccharides and mainly composed of residual lignin, which can easily collapse during drying and needs specific consolidation treatments. For this reason, the chemical characterization of archaeological lignin is of primary importance in the diagnosis and conservation of waterlogged wood artifacts. Current knowledge of the lignin degradation processes in historical and archaeological wood is extremely inadequate. In this study lignin extracted from archaeological waterlogged wood was examined using both Py-GC/MS, NMR spectroscopy and GPC analysis. The samples were collected from the Site of the Ancient Ships of San Rossore (Pisa, Italy), where since 1998 31 shipwrecks, dating from 2nd century BC to 5th century AD, have been discovered. The results, integrated by GPC analysis, highlight the depolymerization of lignin with cleavage of ether bonds, leading to an higher amount of free phenol units in the lignin from archaeological waterlogged wood, compared to sound lignin from reference wood of the same species.
|Autori:||COLOMBINI M; JEANNETTE J. LUCEJKOA; FRANCESCA MODUGNO; MARCO ORLANDI; EEVA-LIISA TOLPPA; LUCA ZOIA|
|Titolo:||A multi-analytical study of degradation of lignin in archaeological waterlogged wood|
|Anno del prodotto:||2009|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|