(C18:0) fatty acids purified by preparative gas chromatography (pcGC)5-8. We present the first accurate compound-specific radiocarbon determinations of lipids extracted from pottery vessels, which were rigorously evaluated by comparison with dendrochronological dates9,10 and inclusion in site and regional chronologies containing suites of radiocarbon dates on other materials11-15. Critically, the compound-specific datesfrom each of the C16:0 and C18:0 fatty acids in pottery vessels provide an internal quality
control of the results6 and, are entirely compatible with dates for other commonly dated materials. Accurate radiocarbon dating of pottery vessels can reveal: (i) the period of use of pottery; (ii) the antiquity of organic residues including when specific foodstuffs were exploited; (iii) sites chronologies in the absence of traditionally datable materials and (iv) direct verification of pottery typochronologies. As exemplars, the method was applied to the dating of dairy and carcass product exploitation in Neolithic vessels, from Britain, Anatolia, central and western Europe, and Saharan Africa.