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Fields & Applications Forensics, Materials

Amber Alert: The Iberian Imitation Game

Amber jewellery was highly valued amongst early humans, and historians have used it to identify those of wealth or status. But not all “amber” found in prehistoric sites is quite what it seems…

Carlos P. Ordiozola and colleagues employed electron probe analysis, infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy to study amber beads recovered from two Iberian burial sites dated from the 2nd and 3rd millennia BC (1). The team were surprised to find that neither sample produced the characteristic spectra of the Baltic or Sicilian amber traded at that time.

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About the Author

Matthew Hallam

I've always wanted a career in which I could practice my creativity, even when I worked on the assembly line in a fish factory. At one time, I channeled this need into dance, drawing, poetry and fiction, and I still do most of these things. But, following completion of my MSc(Res) in Translational Oncology and time working in labs and as a Medical Writer for major pharmaceutical companies, I'm happy to find myself in a career that allows me to combine my creative side with my scientific mind as the Deputy Editor of The Analytical Scientist.

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