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Establishing an archaeometrical method for discrimination of Romanite – Romanian amber – by chromatography and mass spectrometry

The Romanian museums held thousands of adornment items collections, with tens or hundreds of thousands of objects, most of them recovered from funerary contexts. A special category of items is represented by amber objects (generally beads). As regards the archaeological amber items, there is a vast literature, as well as many speculations concerning their origin and commercial routes. Already documented trade routes since prehistoric times and fossil resins geological occurrence in the European region suggest that Romanian amber (also known as Rumanite or Romanite) and Baltic amber (also known as Succinite) are the most probable raw materials used at the manufacture of archaeological amber artifacts found on Romanian territory. The present project proposes the chemical characterization of fossil resins by means of the combination between pyrolysis, thermal desorption and GC–MS analysis for amber macromolecular fraction characterization, ICP-MS for inorganic inclusions analysis, and advanced data computing with multivariate analysis techniques used to extract information related with the geological origin of the fossil resins.

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