Get access

Provenance investigations of amber jewelry excavated in Lower Silesia (Poland) and dated back to Early Iron Age


  • This article is part of the Journal of Raman Spectroscopy special issue entitled ”Raman spectroscopy in art and archaeology“ edited by Juan Manuel Madariaga and Danilo Bersani.

Barbara I. Łydżba-Kopczyńska, University of Wroclaw, Faculty of Chemistry, F. Joliot-Curie 14, 50-383 Wroclaw, Poland.



The aim of presented work was to establish the provenance of unique amber jewelry dated back to Early Iron Age discovered in burial chambers of archeological excavations in Domasław, Lower Silesia (Poland). To assess the origin of the archeological amber objects, there was performed a comparative analysis of over 100 artifacts and reference material originated from amber sources within reasonable proximity to the axcavations. Succinite (Baltic amber) from tertiary deposit at the seashore from North Harbor in Gdansk (Poland) and Sambian Penisula, Yantarny near Kaliningrad (Russia) valchovite or/and neudorfite from Valchov in Moravy (Czech Republic) dated back to Upper Cretaceous and amber originating from Lower Silesia (cenoman from Boleslawiec, Poland) were used as a reference material. Raman and positron annihilation spectroscopies have been previously successfully applied in provenance studies of archeological amber jewelry, and both techniques were accepted as a method of choice in current investigation. All Raman measurements of valuable amber objects were performed in situ. Raman spectra collected for analyzed artifacts confirmed their Baltic origin. The study showed that annihilation positron spectroscopy is effective toll in the provenance investigations of raw amber material but can be misleading in analysis of previously processed material. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.