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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 17, 2013

A multi-analytical approach to amber characterisation

Georgiana Truică, Nicoletta Ditaranto, Maria Caggiani, Annarosa Mangone, Simona Liţescu, Eugenia Teodor, Luigia Sabbatini and Gabriel Radu
From the journal Chemical Papers


Increased need for non-destructive investigation methods in archaeology has become a major issue since sampling is in most cases restricted in view of the importance or uniqueness of the objects. For this reason, preliminary investigation using non-destructive techniques was performed on five samples of amber beads obtained from different excavation and archaeological sites. The use of FTIR and micro-Raman analysis revealed the presence of carboxyl, peroxide, hydroxyl, and complex ester functional groups as well as single and double bonds in the structure of the studied resin varieties. Further analysis of the amber samples from both archaeological and geological types by XPS, XRF, and SEM showed the presence of sulfur and a wide range of trace elements on the surface of the analysed samples. Our results proved that the combination of structural-molecular and surface elemental techniques for amber characterisation provides a very useful and simple methodology for the description of geological and archaeological amber samples from different regions of Europe.

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Published Online: 2013-9-17
Published in Print: 2014-1-1

© 2013 Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences