The Analysis, Identification and Treatment of an Amber Artifact


  • Niccolo Caldararo Dept. of Anthropology San Francisco State University and Conservation Art Service


Parole chiave:

amber, analysis, conservation, FT-IR





This study describes the identification and treatment of an amber necklace, which came into the conservation lab  of Conservation Art Service, with an opaque bloom caused by a previous cleaning with a household ammonia cleanser. There was no information given its origin available from the owner. Prior to the conservation intervention, it is accepted practice  to identify correctly the material the beads were made of and, depending on the results, research the past treatment of the amber to identify the most appropriate means to remove the opaque bloom. A review of the literature of both the amber conservation treatments and identification of false amber indicated little useful published work on these topics in conservation journals, particularly in the form of a single, comprehensive review. Treatment and retreatment issues have become a significant subject in conservation in the past two decades (Caldararo, 1997; Caple, 2000).  The goals of treatment or "no treatment,” must be clearly discovered and developed in each case.  This prompted us to assemble a list of relevant articles on various methods for testing and identifying amber. This paper also includes an overview of amber and its historical use, methods to definitively identify amber, and the identification and treatment of this particular object using infrared spectroscopy.

Biografia autore

Niccolo Caldararo, Dept. of Anthropology San Francisco State University and Conservation Art Service

Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology from 1995 to present, and Director and Chief Conservator of Conservation Art Service since 1978.  Worked at the Lowie Museum in 1967-8; California Academy of Sciences 1970 to 1972;San Francisco Public Library 1973 , Asian Art Museum 1973-1976; De Young Museum and California Palace of the Legion of Honor 1976-1999.



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Come citare

Caldararo, N. (2013). The Analysis, Identification and Treatment of an Amber Artifact. Archeomatica, 4(2).



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