FT-IR as a Determinant of Age and Origin Location of Baltic Amber Beads in Aššur, Iraq
August 28, 2023
Spectroscopy Solutions Magazine
Fragments of amber beads examined in 2019 showed a Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrum consistent with Baltic amber, or succinite, suggesting the artifacts came from the Baltic or North Sea regions.
Researchers in Germany, some of whom are associated with the Rathgen Research Laboratory (Rathgen-Forschungslabor der Staatlichen Museen) in Berlin, recently published a report on work done by that laboratory in 2019 to trace the history of two amber disc beads which were first discovered potentially more than a century earlier, in 1914 (1). The beads, the researchers said, came from a cushion under the large ziggurat, an ancient pyramidal stepped tower, of Aššur, Iraq. Although much of the recent study is historically focused, spectroscopic techniques that were applied to zero in on the beads’ place and time of origin are also described.