Abstract Lipid extracts of different types of pottery from the archaeological site Sagalassos (southwest Turkey) were investigated using several analytical techniques. The usefulness of lipid analysis in the functional analysis of a broad spectrum of pottery from one archaeological site was evaluated. The results establish indeed a relationship between vessel use and form. Based on the analyses a determination table could be drawn relating vessel use and form and separating the different types of vessels. This research shows that lipid analysis can be a valuable contribution to classify different ceramic pots.