NoThe use of Fourier-transform Raman spectroscopy for characterising lignocellulosics has increased significantly over the last twenty years. Here, an FT-Raman spectroscopic study of changes in the chemistry of waterlogged archaeological wood of Pinus sp. and Quercus sp. from a prehistoric assemblage recovered from northern Greece is presented. FT-Raman spectral features of biodeteriorated wood were associated with the depletion of lignin and/or carbohydrate polymers at various stages of deterioration. Spectra from the archaeological wood are presented alongside spectra of sound wood of the same taxa. A comparison of the relative changes in intensities of spectral bands associated with lignin and carbohydrates resulting from decay clearly indicated extensive deterioration of both the softwood and hardwood samples and the carbohydrates appear to be more deteriorated than the lignin. The biodeterioration of the archaeological timbers followed a pattern of initial preferential loss of carbohydrates causing significant loss of cellulose and hemicellulose, followed by the degradation of lignin
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