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Archaeological Amber from the Late Bronze and Iron Ages from the Territory of Present Bulgaria

ArchAeologiA BulgAricA XIII, 3 (2009), 23-46

Silviya IVANOVA / Ivelin KULEFF


IntroductIon

The question about the provenance of archaeological amber artefacts from Southeast Europe has been widely discussed in the science. A great number of investigations of the chemical composition and the geographical origin of the fossil resin have been carried out for more than 460 years (see e.g. / 1964; Beck 1986; Beck et al. 1964; 1965; Kessissoglou et al. 1989; Rottlnder 1970; Weller / Wert 1984). The result is appearance of some criteria for distinction between Baltic amber and that, descending from other parts of Europe (Beck 1986; Beck et al. 1964; Beck 1965). The aim of this research is to review investigations of the provenance of archaeological amber from the Late Bronze and Iron Ages from the territory of present Bulgaria, and resolve resultant problems relevant to the place of Ancient Thrace in the prehistoric model of distribution of the fossil resin. For that reason: amber as a mineral, the development of archaeometric provenance studies of amber, the presence of amber artefacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages in Thrace, as well as the analyses carried out for determination of their geological source, have been presented here. Because of the inaccessibility of some of the materials, samples from part of the described archaeological finds have been investigated using infrared spectroscopy with Fourier-transformation (FTIR) as analytical method for distinguishing of Baltic amber.
Amber As A mInerAl

Amber is a term for designation of a fossilized natural resin which belongs to the class of organic minerals. It is a high-molecular compound of organic acids with general formula C10 H16 O4. Amber from different deposits is differentiated as a separate mineralogical kind with its own name the one from the region of the Baltic Sea is called Succinite, that from Romania Rumanite, from Sicily Simetite, from Birma Birmite. It is an amorphous substance, rarely crystallizing partially. Its hardness is between 2 and 3 according to the Moos scale and its specific gravity - 1.050-1.095. The minerals colour is due to the geological age and the processes of diagenesis and varies from pale yellow, sometimes almost white, to reddish-brown and seldom green, blue, grey or black. It can be transparent, semi-transparent or opaque. It possesses resinous or dull luster and conchoidal fracture. It electrifies when rubbed, burns with white flame and emits a faint smell of a resin from coniferous tree (see e.g. 1984; Fraquet 1987). The mineral can preserve organic materials and organisms trapped in the resin (see e.g. Poinar / Hess 1985). There is a continuing discussion concerning the compound which is in the base of amber skeletal structure and its diagenesis to the mode it is today (see e.g. Beck 1986; Larson 1978; Rottlnder 1969; Rottlnder 1970; Rottlnder 1984/1985) although the accumulation of experimental data corroborates the labdanoid hypothesis. Succeeding investigations evidence that the plant species

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whose resin was petrified were different during the separate geological epochs (see e.g. Grimaldi 1996; Ward-Aber / Kosmowska-Keranowicz 2001). The kind of plant that Baltic amber originates from is probably coniferous tree belonging to the Pseudolarix type. The Eastern Coast of the Baltic Sea is the most productive deposit of the fossil resin in the world and has been exploited since the Early Prehistory. Amber in that deposit was formed mainly during the Tertiary period, at the end of the Eocene epoch (some 40 million years ago) and in smaller amounts during the next epoch Oligocene. The natural spread of Baltic amber is rather wide from the East coast of England, the coast of Holland, through Northern Germany and Southern Scandinavia to Northern Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad region) and Lithuania (see e.g. 1984; Beck 1986).
ArchAeometrIc InvestIgAtIons of Amber

The discovery of a large number of fossil resin deposits in virtually every European country in the course of the second half of the nineteenth century undermined the previously unquestioned assumption that all amber artefacts found in archaeological contexts are made of Baltic amber or succinite from Northern Europe and thus, are evidence of a developed system of exchange (Beck 1966, 191). The provenance study of prehistoric amber finds is among the oldest applications of physics and chemistry in archaeology (Beck 1970, 7). The first attempts of giving an objective answer to the question concerning the origin of the archaeological amber artefacts are the experiments conducted by Otto Helm between 1877 and 1902. In more than twenty publications he proved that Baltic amber could be distinguished, because of the fact that by hydrolysis or by pyrolysis it liberates from 3 to 8 % succinic acid (see e.g. Helm 1877). Using this method, Helm examined archaeological amber from Mycenae, found during the excavations of Schliemann, and succeeded to give proof that it descended from the shores of the Baltic Sea (Helm 1885). Except for the existence of a serious methodological flaw, it was determined (see e.g. Larson 1978) that, although in smaller amounts, amber derived not from the Baltic region also liberates succinic acid by hydrolysis. During the second half of the XX century a lot of investigations of amber finds have been carried out by the application of different analytical techniques. For the objects of examining amber constitution and the attempts of finding a method for provenance study of archaeological finds infrared (IR) spectroscopy ( / 1964; Beck 1986; Beck / Dusek 1969; Beck / Liu 1973; 1974; Beck et al. 1965; Kessissoglou et al. 1989; Mischer et al. 1972; Sprincz / Beck 1981; Todd et al. 1976), nuclear magnetic resonance (Lambert / Frye 1982; Lambert et al. 1985; 1988), X-ray diffraction (Broughton 1974; Frondel 1967), thin layer chromatography (Lebez 1968), gas chromatography mass-spectrometry (Ribechini et al. 2008; Rottlnder 1984/1985), differential thermography (Rottlnder 1984/1985) and neutron activation analysis (Das 1969; Kessissoglou et al. 1989) have been employed. Some of the abovementioned methods are used with the purpose of providing detailed information about the chemical character and structure of amber with a view to determination of botanical origin and geological transformations of the fossil resins, without giving an answer to the fundamental question about the finds origin. IR spectroscopy is probably the most widely used method, not only because of its low cost and accessibility, but also because of the possibility of obtaining satisfying results when determining the provenance of archaeological amber finds from Central and Southern Europe. The method provides information about the

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Fig.1. Partial infrared spectra of some archaeological finds with Baltic shoulder (after Kuleff et al. 2002).

molecular vibrations and is based on the absorption spectroscopy. As the vibrational spectrum of any molecule is unique, it is used for obtaining detailed information about the structure and the bonds of different types of molecules. Since the IR spectrum even of relatively simple compounds contains too many peaks, the possibility of two different compounds possessing the same IR spectra is extremely small. For that reason the IR spectrum is assumed as a finger print of molecules (Solomons / Fryhle 2007, 77). The first extensive IR studies on archaeological amber began in the 1960s by C.W. Beck and his coworkers from The Amber Research Laboratory of Vassar College, New York, USA (Beck 1986; Beck et al. 1964; 1965). Thanks to these studies, it is established that succinite, a specific type of Baltic amber, often simplistically labeled as Baltic amber, shows a unique and characteristic spectrum. The carbonoxygen stretching vibrations between 1250 and 1100 cm-1 (8.0 and 9.0 m) define the spectral range in which the most important and diagnostically useful distinction between Baltic amber and non-Baltic European amber can be made. Only Baltic amber shows a highly characteristic absorption pattern in this range. It consists of a broad and, typically, perfectly horizontal shoulder between 1250 and 1175 cm-1 (8.0 and 8.5 m), the so called Baltic shoulder, which is followed by a sharp absorption peak, which reaches its maximum intensity just below 1150 cm-1 (8.7 m), after which absorption rapidly diminishes (fig. 1). The absorption bands of the non-Baltic European fossil resins are extraordinarily variable, and they could hardly be related to a particular geographical source. Some other amber types have been recognized on the basis of characteristic IR spectra: simetite (Beck 1966, 205-208; Beck / Hartnett 1993), French pseudosuccinite (Beck / Liu 1976); rumanite (Beck 1986; Stout et al. 2000); beckerite (Beck et al. 1986); gedanite and gedano-succinite (Stout et al. 1995). However, because of the complexity of the formation processes and the heterogeneity of the original resin material, the IR spectra are not always unambiguously interpreted, and, as a matter of fact, many amber samples do not show readily distinctive spectra. Furthermore, amber from adjacent deposits of the same locality may show rather distinct spectroscopic characteristics. In Baltic amber, too, there is considerable variation among spectra and it is possible to affect the absorption band between 1250 and 1100 cm-1 (8.0 and 9.0 m). Instead of that pattern a negative slope could be observed in spectra of other kinds of amber (Beck et al. 1965, 104-107). The archaeological amber finds are often contaminated by the earth in which they have been buried or by conservation processes by means of treatment with paraffin, beeswax, or synthetic polymer solutions. Some of the penetrated into the cracked surface of the material particles may obliterate the ester absorption of amber in the diagnostically important region between 1250 and 1100 cm-1 (8.0 and 9.0 ) (Beck et al. 1965, 108). An interesting alternative to the described method (FTIR) is diffuse-reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFT). It shows experimental advantages that are potentially very useful in the archaeometric amber studies: it is a very rapid technique, it has high energy resolution, it may be used with solid samples and may be applied directly to the surface of an object (non-invasive mode) or of

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Fig. 2. Map of archaeological amber finds from the LBA and the IA from the territory of present Bulgaria: 1 - Valchitran; 2 - Gradets; 3 - Belish; 4 - Debnevo; 5 - Belogradets; 6 - Lyubcha; 7 - Borino; 8 - Gela; 9 - Progled; 10 - Devin; 11 - Kochan and Satovcha; 12 - Katrishte; 13 - Zhelezino; 14 - Belevren; 15 - Duvanliy; 16 - Etropole.

a powder containing a very limited quantity of sample (0.2-0.1 mg). Moreover, there has been detected a correspondence between DRIFT and FTIR spectra collected from the same samples in different conditions (Angelini / Bellintani 2005, 442-443, 449). Using IR spectroscopy a great number of archaeological finds and known European fossil resin deposits has been analyzed so far. The resulting database of more than 10 000 IR spectra of archaeological and geological amber samples from around the world is kept in The Amber Research Laboratory (after the death of Prof. Beck in March 2008 it was proposed the laboratory to be called Prof. Curt Beck). The provenance study of amber artefacts from Greece (Mycenae, Pylos) proved Helms conclusion that amber found in Ancient Greece descends from the region of the Baltic Sea (see e.g. Beck 1986; Kessissoglou et al. 1989). Similar investigations have been carried out for amber finds from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Todd et al. 1976), Serbia (Beck / Liu 1973; 1974), Slovenia (Beck / Dusek 1969), Switzerland (Beck et al. 1993), as well as from Bulgaria ( 2002, 11-12; Kuleff et al. 2002, 757-760; present paper).
Amber from ArchAeologIcAl sItes In thrAce

In thus formulated subject of the present investigation the historical term Thrace is used, but in the particular case it consists only of areas within the confines of present Bulgaria. The territorial extent of this study is determined by the geographical distribution of the archaeological sites in which the presence of amber finds is documented until now: Central North and North-West Bulgaria; NorthEast Bulgaria; South Bulgaria the Struma valley, The Rhodope and Strandzha Mountains, the Maritsa valley (fig. 2). The chronological extent of the study is also determined by the specifics of the material the time of its appearance and distribution in the observed areas during the Pre-Roman period. Terminus post quem is respectively XIII XII/XI century BC (the final Bronze Age) and terminus ante quem V IV century BC (the early Late Iron Age). Amber piece, incrusted in one of the big golden discs from the Valchitran treasure ( 1958), if the latter is accepted with one of its possible but argu-

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able dates the time about the end of the Late Bronze Age (final LBA XIII XII/ XI century BC), is the earliest known appearance of the fossil resin in Thrace. Unfortunately, exact analogies of the Valchitran discs have not been found yet. The techniques applied in the production of the big discs are characteristic of the LBA in the Aegean and the Near East ( 1988, 33-35). On the contrary, the shapes of some of the objects are local and according to some archaeologists the gold probably also descends from the region ( 1977, 11-19; 1988, 29-39; 1958, 21, 45). Nevertheless, archaeometric investigation for determination of the gold sources has not been carried out. The bronze base of one of the big golden discs, in which amber is embedded, is defined as cross-shaped element or labrys and is interpreted as an indication of solar cult ( 1988, 34, 38; Gergova 1994, 70; Venedikov 1987, 27-32). The discs function is also questionable they are assumed as lids of lost golden vessels (Gergova 1994, 74; Venedikov 1987, 27-32), cymbals (Ognenova-Marinova 1978, 241), etc. (see e.g. 1958). Many of the researchers stress on the ritual character of the treasure ( 1988, 38; 1958, 47; Gergova 1994, 69-70; Venedikov 1987, 55). The archaeometric investigation of the embedded amber (AM-56.WAL) showed its Baltic origin (Kuleff et al. 2002, Table I).

Fig. 3. Amber beads from the tumulus near the village of Gradets. Photograph: S. Ivanova

Amber in the form of irregular biconical beads (fig. 3), probably elements of necklaces, is present among the inventory of barrows containing materials characteristic of VII VI century BC in Northwestern Thrace ( 1977, 10-11). The undermentioned barrows probably belonged to tumular necropolises. Unfortunately, referred structures have not been investigated through regular archaeological excavations and in view of that the authenticity of some of the announced in the publications data is under question. Fifteen amber beads (AM-107-114.HMV) have been found in a female inhumation grave (a skeleton oriented to the north-east; beads around the chest) dated to the VII VI century BC revealed in a barrow east of Gradets village, Vidin district ( / 1965, 52-55). The other part of the inventory is composed of bronze bracelets, fibulae, hemstitched belt, beads made of wire wound into a spiral (saltaleons), and hand-made pottery sherds. One of the amber beads slightly resembles in shape those of type 12b, and other two of type 16 according to Palavestras typological scheme (Palavestra 1993, 191, 195). Aside the femurs of an individual buried in a tumulus with a stone and earthen embankment located in north-west direction of the village of Debnevo, Troyan district ( 1956, 491-492, 494, 499, 501), ten amber beads with irregular shapes have been found. The funeral construction was rectangular in plan build of raw stones and with flat stones covering. The grave contained inhumation in

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extended supine position of east-west orientation. It has a rich inventory bronze ornaments (hemstitched belt plates, saltaleons, fibulae, bracelets), and is defined as female belonging to the time around VII VI century BC. Amber objects six pierced nuclei (located in the region of the neck according to the information received from the discoverer) represent a part of a find from VII century BC found in a small tumulus situated near the village of Belish, Troyan district ( 2002, 6, 7, 11, 33, 51). The amber has been analyzed and its Baltic origin is established. The find consists also of bronze ornaments (bracelets, fibulae, elements of hemstitched belt, saltaleons), iron axe, fragmented ceramic vessel, two whorls made of rock-crystal. Since there are no traces of funeral construction and osseous material, as well as in view of the presence of an iron axe interpreted as a cult object, the hypothesis about a symbolic grave of a Thracian tenant-priest has been put. It is possible, however, that the information received by the author of the relevant publication is inadequate or incomplete. Thats why we should allow the possibility that the artefacts descend from a typical for that period and area tumulus grave with inhumation. The above-mentioned amber beads may provisorily be defined as type 11 according to Palavestras typology (Palavestra 1993, 190). A necklace made of such and a rock-crystal pendant is known from grave 1 from Iglarevo I necropolis dated in the Late Bronze Age (1300-1100 BC according to Reinecke). The rock-crystal beads from Belish have a close parallel from barrow I, grave 21 dating from VI V century BC in Romaja, Metohija ( je, K 1998, 509, . 116, 568, . 198). Amber beads and rock-crystal collaborative attendance, probably as parts of a necklace, is also registered in a dolmen with archaeological record from the time between the beginning of VIII century BC and the early Late Iron Age (LIA VI - I century BC) in Strandzha Mountain ( / 2006, 68). In North-East Bulgaria the presence of amber is evidenced only in tumulus 4 from the necropolis south of the village of Belogradets, Varna district ( 1976, 52-55). Its base is encircled with raw stones, and in the highest part of the barrow, in a pit filled with gravel, a stele was stuck. In the central part of the mound, beneath a stone embankment in the form of a truncated pyramid a rabbit skeleton was uncovered, and in the base of that structure in wooden construction debris a male inhumation grave was registered. An iron dagger incrusted with gold fibres was placed upon the pelvis of the buried individual. There were fragments from a wooden sheath on the edge of the weapon. The scabbard has a binding made of golden sheet with decoration in pseudofiligree technique and amber incrustation (AM-46-48.BEL). It has no parallels in Thrace. There were also bronze arrowheads, an iron spearhead and pottery in the grave. The whole complex is dated to the first half of the VII century BC. Various interpretations concerning the character of the rich inhumation grave from Belogradets exist (see 1986, 18; Kuleff et al. 2002, 760). Some authors determine it as Cimmerian. Others think it is a grave of a Thracian aristocrat. The dagger and the golden sheath belong to a type distributed over a vast territory from North Caucasus to the Alps during the so called Thraco-Cimmerian period. The ornamental style of the sheath (interpreted as solar) possesses common features with archaeological finds from VIII VII century BC in the Northern Pontic area ( 1976, 54-55). The greatest quantity of amber in Bulgaria is found in tumular necropolises from the second phase of the Early Iron Age (VIII VI century BC) in the Central and Western Rhodope Mountains (fig. 4). The presence of imports has not been

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Fig. 4. Amber beads with irregular shapes found in the Rhodope Mountains. Drawings: K. Leshtakov

documented among the inventory of the barrows, except for amber which is accepted as an evidence for trade contacts ( 1985, 55). Parallels with female graves with analogous bronze ornaments in Vergina, Spilion, Vitza, Visoy, etc. from Macedonia, Epirus and Illyria, dated to the beginning of the EIA should be stressed. These examples indicate the close connections between Southern Thrace and the Northern Aegean, as well as their synchronous evolution ( 1997, 128-129). Unfortunately, in most of the cases the available documentation about the situations in the underwritten burial mounds is scarce and complete publications of the investigated structures do not exist. That impedes the work with the archaeological evidence found in the barrows. In the stone embankment of tumulus 11 in the necropolis at Kochan and Satovcha (Western Rhodopes) amber (AM-04-09.GDJ) and bronze beads were found, as well as bronze fibulae which could be dated to the VIII VII century BC ( / 1982, 34). Archaeological chance find from the region of Satovcha consists of over two hundred and fifty amber beads (AM-60-85.NHM), bronze fibulae and multispiral bracelets, fragments from other bronze objects, a silver omegoid earring (ear-muff), and fragments of silver loops. If we accept that the abovementioned artefacts actually descend from a single archaeological complex, then a date after the beginning of the V century BC can be fixed basing on the analysis of the metal objects. The possibility that the find may also come from the necropolis in that area should not be neglected. Other two amber beads (AM-01-02.SMO) found in tumuli 10 and 11 dated in the VII VI century BC from the second phase of the EIA from the necropolis at Borino have been analyzed using IR-spectrometry (Kuleff et al. 2002, fig. 3, table I). Eighty-two amber beads (AM-86-99.Tr.) and several bronze spirals saltaleons dated to the EIA (XI VI century BC), come from a chance find uncovered, according to a doubtful source of information, in Devin district ( et al. 2005, 2.27). Since such bronze beads necklaces are typical for VIII century BC graves ( 1988, 24), the find in question could also be of that time. It is

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possible that the indicated artefacts descend from a destroyed burial mound from the necropolis known near Devin. In the fill of tumulus 5 in the necropolis at Lyubcha, Smolyan district, seventy amber beads (AM-14.SMO) and also small clay beads, pottery sherds with incised decoration and a bronze ornament were discovered ( 1977, 42-43). These finds belong to the time about VII VI century BC. In barrow 12, which is also thought to be from VII VI century BC, four amber beads are found (AM-11-13, 29.SMO) and in another fourteen more (AM-15, 17-28.SMO). The beads have been analysed (Kuleff et al. 2002, fig. 3, table I). Amber beads (AM-100-101.Sm) and osseous material descend from mound 5 located near Gela, Smolyan district ( 1970, 27). There is no information about the archaeological context and the date of the feature. Naydenova only mentioned in her publication that fibulae and amber beads were found in the EIA graves in the tumular necropolis. In the northwestern part of barrow 2 in the region of Progled, Smolyan district, ceramic urn with human bones, probably of a child, beads and part of an amber ornament, a bronze knife and saltaleons were found ( 1976 , 57-58). In the southeastern part an inhumation burial encircled with stones was discovered. It contained amber adornment, a bronze fibula, bronze loops. The latter grave could be dated to the second phase of the EIA because of the typical practice of encircling the buried individual with raw stones. On the other hand, the grave offerings are not characteristic for earlier burials in which usually only pottery was put ( 1985, 54). Amber is also present in megalithic grave constructions dolmens, which are typical for the EIA in the mountainous and rolling area of Strandzha and Sakar with the adjacent regions to the north and the Eastern Rhodopes ( 1983, 398, 408). Unfortunately, the information on the nature of the mortuary practice is not sufficient because of the insignificant number of such graves studied through regular archaeological excavations. The opinion that extended inhumations were practiced in the dolmens has been predominant in the publications so far, but crouched inhumation is not an exception, and there are even traces of cremated remains of the buried individual ( 1997, 122-123). One of the dolmens containing amber finds is east-west oriented and is situated to the south-east of Zhelezino in the Southeastern Rhodopes ( / 2002, 76-77). There are traces from prolonged exploitation of the monument at the end of the second and during the first millenium BC. No osseous material was found in the course of excavation of the dolmen, and that is also the case with other structures of this type in the region. Pottery, fragments from bronze and iron fibulae and six amber beads (AM-102-106.HMH) on a bronze wire were uncovered. The iron fibula gives a more precise date of the complex around IX VIII century BC. An analogy could be made provisionally between the cube-shaped amber bead threaded on a bronze wire and the type 76 according to Palavestra (Palavestra 1993, 224). The latter is common for the Western Balkans but is thought to be a decoration on fibulas bow, and that could not be said about the one from Zhelezino. Amber beads threaded on a bronze wire, in the form of necklaces, bracelets and ear-muffs occurred in graves in different parts of the Western and Central Balkans in the course of several centuries (800-300 BC) (Palavestra 1993, 256). Amber finds are also present in another dolmen to the north-west of Belevren in Strandzha Mountain. It is north-south oriented. In the tomb chamber and in front of the dolmen pottery sherds, fibulae, beads made of amber and rock

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crystal are uncovered. Judged from the evidence of the archaeological record, the construction of the dolmen is assigned to the beginning of VIII century BC but its exploitation probably continued until the beginning of the Late Iron Age ( / 2006, 66-68). In three inhumation graves in the flat necropolis from the last three or four decades of VII the beginning of VI century BC along the Struma Valley, south of Katrishte, Kyustendil region, amber objects are also found (Georgieva et al. 1998, 31, 34, 38-39, 45, 47). The grave goods include personal belongings of the buried (ornaments, costume and toilet articles, weapons) and everyday objects (ceramic vessel, millstone).

Fig. 5. A necklace made of amber beads found in grave 17 from the EIA flat necropolis near Katrishte. Photograph: S. Ivanova

Thirteen amber beads in grave # 16 (NE-SW orientation) and sixty-four more (AM-121-127.HMKn) in grave 17 (fig. 5) (with E/NE-W/NW orientation) are discovered. They are found around the neck of the buried. The small fragmented loop made of glass paste from grave 14a (NE-SW orientation), determined as a male one, is not excluded to be an amber object. In grave 17 an adornment consisted of biconical beads and a pendant was discovered. According to the Palavestras typological scheme, the pendant pertains to type 48j. It is shaped like a small skin or miniature vessel in the form of a poppy-seed and was probably worn as amulet. The type is encountered on the Balkans and in Italy during VI century BC. The closest parallel of the necklace from Katrishte is that containing one hundred and eighteen beads from grave 84 in the necropolis near Dedeli which belong to the time between the last quarter of VII and the beginning of

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VI century BC. Necklaces, composed of amber beads, are commonly present in female graves along the Vardar valley. Their appearance is dated to the second half and their large-scale distribution to the end of VII century BC. That type of necklaces occurred in many sites on the Balkan Peninsula, prevailing in its central and western parts in Halstatt C and D period (700-450 BC). Amber is sometimes also amongst the grave goods of LIA tumuli. One of the cases is a rich female inhumation grave excavated in barrow 6 Mushovitsa, in the necropolis near Duvanliy, north of Plovdiv ( 1934, 82-97). The funeral construction is a quadrangular pit, slightly narrowing towards the bottom, with traces of wood which are very likely remains from a wooden coffin. The inventory consists of an amber loop (found around the cranium of the buried individual), golden jewels, silver phiale, bronze hydria and mirror, terra cotta, black-figure Attic amphora, black-glaze kylix and small bowl, small ceramic urn, oinochoes of stained glass, alabastrons, glass beads, small objects of agate and clay. Another LIA complex containing amber is tumulus 1 in the necropolis northwest of Etropole ( 1996, 35; 2001, 48-49). It is interpreted as a ritual complex from V the beginning of IV century BC with a rich female grave with urn cremation. A pit with a stone mound above it was registered next to the urn, in the ancient terrain. There were amber and glass beads from a necklace, silver earrings, fibulae, an alabastron, a ceramic amphora, a jug and a bowl inside it. The above-presented overview shows that amber had appeared in Thrace at the end of the Late Bronze Age (XIII XII/XI century BC). It was more often found in complexes dated in the Early Iron Age until its disappearance after IV century BC. Its presence is registered later, in the Roman period. Amber finds are mostly concentrated in the Western and Central Rhodope Mountains. In Thrace amber is predominantly found in burial context typically in barrows dated to the EIA (most of them from VII VI century BC) but also in such belonging to the early LIA. There are two cases of presence of amber artefacts in dolmens with archaelogical record from the time between IX/VIII century BC and the LIA ( / 2006, 68; / 2002, 77). Beads made of fossil resin are also part of the inventory of a flat necropolis from the end of VII VI century BC (Georgieva et al. 1998, 38, 40). The material is usually found in inhumation graves, and as an exception in one cremation from V the beginning of IV century BC from Etropole ( 1996, 35). As peculiar cases should be mentioned the EIA symbolic grave (cenotaph) from Belish ( 2002, 11), the LIA grave with partial (according to the excavator) inhumation from Duvanliy ( 1934, 83), the LIA ritual complex from Etropole ( 1996, 35). The funeral construction types and their orientation are various. In EIA graves amber is usually found together with metal artefacts, mainly ornaments (bronze and iron fibulae; bronze bracelets, beads, belts, etc.), but also weapons (iron axe, dagger, spearheads; bronze arrowheads, knife), and sometimes pottery. The situation during the LIA is different. Amber was put mainly in rich graves with gold and silver jewels, bronze, silver and glass vessels, luxury Greek pottery, glass beads. As far as is indicated, amber beads are found at different location around the neck, cranium or the chest of the buried individuals, around their femurs, in the barrow fill, in the tomb chambers or in front of the dolmens, in a pit with a stone mound above it, in the form of incrustation. In some cases it is not possible to determine the sex of the buried individual. Nevertheless, on the basis of the inventory analysis either, it could be assumed that amber prevails in female graves but is not an exception in male and is even registered in a childs one. Amber is also found incrusted in a golden disc from the Valchitran treasure dated in the final LBA ( 1958). The fossil resin is present in hoards, al-

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though different in character, from the Bronze Age in Central Europe either (see e.g. Beck / Markov 1996, 411). With exception of the finds from Valchitran and Belogradets, the mineral is found generally in the form of beads with irregular shapes probably worn as necklaces. Most of them are with an opaque weathered surface which is a typical consequence of oxidative degradation due to stay in the soil. They are commonly reddish-brown in colour but sometimes yellow-brown, ochre or brown. The internal part is semi-transparent with the characteristic reddish-brown or yellowbrown colour either. They are usually with irregular shapes, probably result of quite slight, rude carving of the material. Short irregular biconical beads are the most widely spread, but examples with irregular spherical, polygonal or cylindrical shape are not rare. Long beads are present only in Central and Western Rhodopes. Just a few examples dating from VII VI century BC have more specific shapes: a bead with three small balls discovered in barrow 10 near Kochan (Kuleff et al. 2002, 757); flat bead with two perpendicular openings from tumulus 5 at Lyubcha (Kuleff et al. 2002, 757); the pendant from grave 17 from the flat necropolis near Katrishte (Georgieva et al. 1998, 47). Another type is the cube-shaped bead on a bronze wire descending from the aforementioned dolmen in the Southwestern Rhodopes ( / 2002, 77). Figural amber artefacts as well as jewels (fibulae, pins, etc.) with ornaments made of the material, are not found in Thrace, even in the so called princely graves ( 1988, 78-86) dating from the LIA. Special attention should be paid to the fact that beads with irregular geometric forms are most common among amber artefacts uncovered in many archaeological sites from the Bronze and the Iron Age on the Balkan Peninsula (Palavestra 1993). Their similar or even identical shapes (sometimes indefinite) are not due to mutual influences, but are rather results of slight carving following the natural shapes of the raw material. It should be mentioned here that some of the comparisons made between amber finds from the present report and that from Palavestras typological scheme (Palavestra 1993), where beads with irregular shapes are not included, are tentative. Furthermore, the types defined by Palavestra are characteristic for a continuous period of time, sometimes more than a millennium.
ProvenAnce study of Amber fInds from the lAte bronze And Iron Ages In thrAce

Materials and methods

So far a provenance study of 92 amber finds from the Late Bronze and Iron Ages from present Bulgaria has been carried out using infrared spectroscopy ( 2002, 11-12; Kuleff et al. 2002, 757-760; present paper). The finds come from sites in North-West Bulgaria (8 samples), Central North Bulgaria (2 samples), NorthEast Bulgaria (3 samples), Western and Central Rhodopes (69 samples), Eastern Rhodopes (5 samples) and the Struma valley (7 samples). Because of the possibility of correlating the obtained results and the accessibility of the archaeological material, nine samples from finds belonging to the discussed chronological period from present Macedonia have also been analyzed (AM-53.VOD; AM-54.SOP; AM-55.VAL; AM-115-120.NAM). The description of all investigated archaeological finds is presented in the catalogue.

34

silviya ivanova / ivelin kuleff

Fig. 6. Partial infrared spectra of some of the analyzed amber beads from Thrace.

Sampling

Sampling is realized through careful scraping by the use of a steel dentists borer and a high motion machine. That procedure is performed on the surface of the finds so that their outlook and shape are not affected.
Samples pre-treatment

About two milligrams of amber are necessary for the analysis. The amber is ground with about 300 mg of dessicated potassium bromide in an agate mortar. The mixture is homogenized by the use of a vibrating grinder and then it is pressed into a clear pallet in an evacuable die. The IR-spectrum of the pallet is recorded (some of the spectra are presented in fig. 6).
Results

All the analysed samples, except for that from Belogradets, show the characteristic absorption pattern between 1250 and 1175 cm-1 (8.0 and 8.5 m) (fig. 6). The Baltic shoulder in most of the spectra is not perfectly horizontal which is, however, typical for highly oxidized archaeological amber. That is result of the fact that most of the investigated samples are taken from the surface layer of the finds which is the most strongly oxidized. Exposure to the atmosphere inevitably leads to the formation of new carbon-oxygen bonds which absorb infrared radiation at the same approximate wavelengths, thus changing the absorption pattern between 1250 and 1100 cm-1 (8.0 and 9.0 m). The deep cracks and dark reddish-brown colour of the amber beads are also usual consequences of oxidative degradation. That deterioration is common for archaeological samples and depends on finds age, the presence of humidity and the residence in soils rich in oxygen or unfilled cist graves or tombs. It is however possible to settle the origin of amber artefacts in terms of the large distinction Baltic amber versus non-Baltic European amber even in the face of extensive oxidative damage (see e.g. Beck 1966, 205; Beck et al. 1965, 104-105, 107).

Fig. 7. Partial infrared spectra of geological amber samples: 1 - Succinite deposit near Kaliningrad (Russia); 2 - Plafeiite, Plasselbschlund, canton Fribourg (Switzerland); 3 - Flysch resin, Gablitz (Austria) (after Kuleff et al. 2002).

archaeological amber from the late bronze and iron ages

35

The amber, of which the analyzed artefacts are made, is determined as succinite, i.e. Baltic amber. For comparison IR-spectra of mineralogical samples of Baltic amber as well as such in which the Baltic shoulder is absent are used (fig. 7). The absence of a Baltic shoulder in the IR-spectra of the samples from the amber incrustation of the sheath from Belogradets indicates that the material is not succinite. The negative result of the comparative analysis with mineralogical samples from Austria and Switzerland leaves the question about the geographical origin of that amber open. Parallels of the sheath amongst finds from the North Pontic area could explain to some extent the result from the investigation which objectively proves the non-Baltic origin of that amber. That could be accepted as an indication of its Caucasian origin (Kuleff et al. 2002, 758, 760, fig. 4). Using FTIR-spectrometry, pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry Dr. Ribechini from the University of Pisa (Italy) carried out a new archaeometric investigation of 5 samples taken from the sheath from Belogradets. The preliminary results show the presence of tar prepared from the bark of birch tree in the samples (Ribechini 2008). This is the first evidence for using tar as glue for fixing gems in such kind of precious objects.
Archaeological interpretation The results of the chemical analyses for determining the geographical origin of finds, made of the fossil resin from Europe and the Mediterranean, uncovered in archaeological context from the Bronze and Iron Ages had contributed to the creation of the theory of the amber route connecting the Old Continents Northern and Southern parts (see e.g. Palavsetra / Krsti 2006, 32-38). Until the beginning of the Bronze Age the succinite had already reached distant parts of Central Europe, Italy, the Mediterranean and the Balkans. However, the amber route is accepted as an archaeological model rather than as a concrete way. The routes connecting Europe were not unique or permanent, but they changed and adapted to the conditions of trade and cultural specifics of the relevant ages. Investigations of many years led to the conclusion that since the Middle Bronze Age three main routes through which the fossil resin from Northern Europe reached the Balkans had been exploited (Palavestra 1993, 281-282). The western route led from the Baltic Sea through the Carpathians to Northern Dalmatia. The second one, along Danube and Drina reached The Central Balkans, specifically the Glasinac cultural complex. The third route could be traced through the scarce and isolated finds in Pannonia which were probably distributed along some of the eastern amber routes in Europe. Certainly, amber was imported to the western parts of the Balkan Peninsula by the Adriatic Sea as well. The results of the provenance studies of amber finds from present Bulgaria raise the question about the mechanisms of distribution of amber to Thrace. That probably happened through contacts with the neighbouring Western Balkan and Aegean regions, where the mineral had appeared earlier and in greater amount during the Bronze Age. The main clue leading to that conclusion is the analysis of the period when amber is present or absent in specific archaeological contexts in the abovementioned areas and also the examination of parallels and influences in some elements of the material culture there. A glance at the data about the funeral rites and the grave constructions suggests, on the other hand, a penetration of new ideas, concerning the burial practices in Thrace and the Western Balkan area from the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age ( 1997, 131). Presumably, those connections provoked the interest of the local Thracians in amber and its involvement in the burial rites as it is in other parts of Europe. In that way, already traced amber routes through Europe can be extended on the territory of present Bulgaria, with

36

silviya ivanova / ivelin kuleff

a possible direction along the valleys of the rivers Iskar, Struma, Mesta and their feeders (Kuleff et al. 2002, 759). Another hypothesis assumes that amber from North Bulgaria marks the ancient route from the Carpathians through present Troyan pass and the Rhodopes to the Aegean Sea, and it is accepted to be the earliest evidence about the ways exploitation for trade needs ( 2002, 12-15). Unfortunately, not all the materials from present Bulgaria are found as a result of regular archaeological excavations and as a consequence, it is not quite possible to find out exact directions of Baltic amber spread in the interior of Thrace.
Conclusions

Succinite appeared in archaeological context on the territory of present Bulgaria at the end of the Late Bronze Age, but at the present state of investigations only one find belonging to that time is known ( 1958). Amber artefacts are more widely spread among the inventory of graves dating from the EIA the period about VII VI century BC, although their amount is not considerable. The situation is similar in the neighbouring Central and Western Balkan areas, and also on the Apennine Peninsula where amber appeared not so isolated during the Middle and the Late Bronze Age (see e.g. Palavestra 1993). However, at the end of the II millennium BC the trade of the mineral declined for several centuries. By the beginning of VII century BC the trade contacts between the aforementioned regions and Northern Europe had been renovated and as a result, the quantity of the fossil resin uncovered mainly in the form of jewels in female graves considerably increased. By the end of VI century BC amber had become a constant part of the goods in the princely graves on the Central Balkans and could sporadically be registered in other context. The artefacts are in a great amount, in the form of beads and figural objects manufactured in North Italian workshops. They belong to relatively narrow chronological horizon (the second half of VI the beginning of V century BC) and are found together with many Archaic Greek and Italian luxury goods. Succinite is also part of the inventory of rich graves in Thrace ( 1996, 35; 1934, 96-97), belonging to the period around V IV century BC, although in rather more insignificant quantity. During the LIA, amber trade on the Western Balkans declined again and as a result finds made of the mineral after IV century BC in Thrace are absent. The fossil resin reappeared in the aforementioned territories in archaeological context from the Roman Period. Special attention should be paid to the low concentration of amber artefacts in Thrace, the presence only of finds with irregular shapes and the few archaeological sites where they can be observed. For that reason it can be concluded that Thrace did not play significant role in the so called amber trade, flourishing in Europe during the Bronze and Iron Ages. Nevertheless, some Baltic amber reached the aforementioned region. The presence of non-Baltic samples, however, may be accepted as an indication for the existence of a far more complex system of contacts and exchange.
Acknowledgements
We would like to express our gratitude to all the people who contributed to the realization of that investigation. Special thanks for the development of this study are given to Prof. M. Arnaudov from the Faculty of Chemistry, University of Sofia, Assoc. Prof. K. Leshtakov and Assoc. Prof. T. Stoyanov from the Faculty of History, University of Sofia, Dr. D. Gergova, Dr. G. Nehrizov, Dr. Stefan Aleksandrov, Dr. K. Nikov, P. Ilieva from the National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Dr. T. Kyoseva, G. Lazov, RA, and Dr. L. Konova from The National Historical Museum, I. Petrov, and S. Iliev (Historical Museum Haskovo), A. Dimitrova (Historical Museum Vidin), V. Debochichki (Regional Historical Museum Kyustendil), as well as Dr. E. Ribechini from University of Pisa, Italy.

archaeological amber from the late bronze and iron ages


cAtAlogue

37

Tumular necropolis near the village of Borino Date: VII VI century BC. Place of preservation: Regional Historical Museum Smolyan. Publication: 1986.
Lab. Code AM-01.SMO AM-02.SMO Description of the sample A bead. Red-brown colour. Strongly weathered. Brittle. A bead. Red-brown colour. Brittle. Findspot Tumulus # 10 Tumulus # 11 Origin Baltic Baltic

Tumular necropolis near the village of Kochan Date: VII VI century BC. Place of preservation: Regional Historical Museum Blagoevgrad. Publication: / 1982.
Lab. Code AM-04.GDJ AM-05.GDJ AM-06.GDJ AM-07.GDJ AM-08.GDJ AM-09.GDJ Description of the sample A piece. Inv. # 294/1981. Yellow-brown colour. Brittle. A piece. Inv. # 293/1981. A piece. Inv. # 282/1981. A piece. Inv. # 307/1981. A piece. Inv. # 283/1981. A piece. Inv. # 260/1979. Findspot Tumulus # 11 Tumulus # 11 Tumulus # 11 Tumulus # 11 Tumulus # 11 Tumulus # 10 Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic

Tumular necropolis near the village of Lyubcha Date: VII VI century BC. Place of preservation: Regional Historical Museum Blagoevgrad. Publication: 1976.
Lab. Code AM-03.SMO AM-11.SMO AM-12.SMO AM-13.SMO AM-14.SMO AM-15.SMO AM-17.SMO AM-18.SMO AM-19.SMO AM-20.SMO AM-21.SMO AM-22.SMO AM-23.SMO AM-24.SMO AM-25.SMO AM-26.SMO AM-27.SMO AM-28.SMO AM-29.SMO Description of the sample A piece. Red-brown colour. Brittle. A piece. Surface grey-brown colour. Inner part yellow, transparent. A bead. Red-brown colour. A bead. Red-brown colour. A bead flat, with 2 perpendicular openings d = 0.02-0.03 cm. Inv. # I-461. A bead. Irregular polygonal form; d = 0.07 cm; 0.5 g. Red colour. A bead; d = 0.12 cm; 1.3 g. Red-brown colour. A bead; d = 0.23 cm; 2.3 g. Yellow-brown colour. A bead. Biconical form; 1.3 g. A bead. Irregular biconical form; d = 0.17 cm; 1.3 g. Black colour. A bead. Biconical form; d = 0.23 cm; 4.8 g. Yellow-brown colour. A bead. Biconical form; d = 0.17 cm; 1.0 g. Surface red colour. A bead. Biconical form; d = 0.10 cm; 0.5 g. Red-brown colour. A bead. Irregular polygonal form; d = 0.07 cm; 0.2 g. Red colour. A bead. Irregular polygonal form; d = 0.07 cm; 0.4 g. Red colour. A bead. Irregular polygonal form; d = 0.11 cm; 0.9 g. Weathered surface, red-brown colour. A bead. Irregular polygonal form; d = 0.15 cm; 1.0 g. Weathered surface, red-brown colour. A bead. Irregular polygonal form; d = 0.15 cm; 1.3 g. Weathered surface, red-brown colour. A bead. Red-brown colour. Inv. # I-467. Findspot Tumulus ? Tumulus # 12 Tumulus # 12 Tumulus # 12 Tumulus # 5 Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus ? Tumulus 12 Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic

38

silviya ivanova / ivelin kuleff

Tumulus 4 from the necropolis south of the village of Belogradets Date: VIII VII century BC. Place of preservation: Regional Historical Museum Varna. Publication: 1976.
Lab. Code AM-46.BEL AM-47.BEL AM-48.BEL Description of the sample Amber piece incrusted on the golden sheath. Amber piece incrusted on the golden sheath. Amber piece incrusted on the golden sheath. Origin ? ? ?

The Valchitran treasure Date: XIII XII/XI century BC. Place of preservation: National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Sofia. Publication: 1958.
Lab. Code AM-56.WAL Description of the sample Amber piece incrusted on a big golden disc. Origin Baltic

A chance find from the region of Satovcha, Western Rhodopes Date: LIA (after the beginning of V century BC). Place of preservation: National Historical Museum Sofia; inventory number 42092.
Lab. Code -60.NHM -61.NHM AM-62.NHM -63.NHM -64.NHM -65.NHM -66.NHM -67.NHM -68.NHM -69.NHM -70.NHM -71.NHM -72.NHM -73.NHM -74.NHM -75.NHM Description of the sample A bead. Irregular oval shape. Size: length (l) 0.4 cm; maximum diameter (d max) 0.8 cm; diameter of the opening (d o) 0.1 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.9 cm; d max 0.9 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.8 cm; d max 0.9 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (slightly fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.6 cm; d max 0.9 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (slightly fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.9 cm; d max 1.1 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (slightly fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.9 cm; d max 1 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (slightly fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.9 cm; d max 1.1 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.8 cm; d max 1.1 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.9 cm; d max 1 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.7 cm; d max 0.9 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with a smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Spherical shape. d o 0.15 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Irregular cube-shaped. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Amber with a smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece of a bead. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece of a bead. d o 0.1 cm. Amber with a smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece of a long bead in the form of irregular parallelepiped with slightly rounded angles. Size: width (w) 0.6 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic

archaeological amber from the late bronze and iron ages Lab. Code -76.NHM -77.NHM -78.NHM -79.NHM -80.NHM -81.NHM -82.NHM -83.NHM -84.NHM -85.NHM Description of the sample A piece of a long bead in the form of irregular trilateral prism with rounded angles. d o 0.1 cm. Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece of a long bead in the form of irregular tetrahedral prism with rounded angles. d o 0.1 cm. Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece of a long bead in the form of irregular trilateral prism with rounded angles, slightly wider in the central part. Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece of a bead. Irregular biconical shape. Amber with a smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece of a long bead in the form of irregular tetrahedral prism. Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece very small (probably part of some of the other beads). Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece very small (probably part of some of the other beads). Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece very small (probably part of some of the other beads). Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A piece very small (probably part of some of the other beads). Amber with smooth surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Pieces very small (probably part of some of the other beads).

39 Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic

A chance find from the region of Devin, Western Rhodopes Date: EIA. Place of preservation: Museum Collection Trigrad; inventory number B4, 5; Tr. Publication: et al. 2005.
Lab. Code -86.r. -87.r. -88.r. -89.r. -90.r. -91.r. -92.r. -93.r. -94.r. -95.r. -96.r. -97.r. -98.r. -99.r. Description of the sample A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Size: l 0.6 cm; d max 0.9 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, colour ochre light brown, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Size: l 0.6 cm; d max 0.8 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with smooth surface, light brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Size: l 0.3 cm; d max 0.8 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with smooth surface, light brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Size: l 0.8 cm; d max 0.9 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, colour brown with suggestion of green, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Size: l 0.5 cm; d max 0.8 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, semi-transparent. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Size: l 0.5 cm; d max 0.7 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, semi-transparent. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Size: l 0.4 cm; d max 0.7 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown to dark-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular flattened spherical shape. Size: l 0.5 cm; d max 0.6 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown to dark-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Size: l 0.3 cm; d max 0.7 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown to dark-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown to dark-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown to dark-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown to dark-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown to dark-brown colour, opaque. A bead. Irregular polygonal shape. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown to dark-brown colour, opaque. Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic

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silviya ivanova / ivelin kuleff

Tumulus 5 from the necropolis near Gela Date: EIA. Place of preservation: Regional Historical Museum Smolyan; inventory number 336. Publication: 1970.
Lab. Code -100.Sm -101.Sm Description of the sample A long bead fragmented (three parts) in the form of irregular parallelepiped. Size: 1. l 1.4 cm; w 0.6 cm; thickness (t) 0.3 cm; d o 0.2 cm.; 2.,3. l 0.7. Amber with slightly cracked surface, brown colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semi-transparent A long bead in the form of irregular prism, wider in the central part. Size: l 3.8 cm; w max 1 cm; t 1 cm; d o 0.4 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, colour ochre, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semi-transparent Origin Baltic Baltic

A dolmen SE of Zhelezino Date: IX/VIII century BC LIA. Place of preservation: Historical Museum Haskovo. Publication: / 2002.
Lab. Code -102.HMH -103.HMH -104.HMH -105.HMH -106.HMH Description of the sample A bead. Irregular rhomboid shape. Size: l 0.8 cm; w 1.3 cm; t 1.1 cm; d o 0.25 cm. Amber with cracked surface, colour ochre to light brown, opaque. A bead on a bronze wire. Irregular cube-shaped. Size: l 0.7 cm; w 0.8 cm; t 0.7 cm; d o 0.1 cm; length of the wire 1.9 cm; diameter of the wire 0.1 cm. Amber with cracked surface, colour ochre to light brown, opaque. A bead. Cylindrical shape. Size: l 0.4 cm; d 0.7 cm; d o 0.15 cm. Amber with cracked surface, colour ochre light brown red-brown, opaque. A bead. Irregular rhomboid shape. Size: l 0.5 cm; w 0.9 cm; t 0.8 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with cracked surface, colour ochre light brown red-brown, opaque. A fragment from a bead. Cylindrical shape. Size: l 0.5 cm; d 0.6 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic

A tumulus near Gradets, Vidin region Date: VII VI century BC. Place of preservation: Historical Museum Vidin; inventory number 896 . Publication: / 1965.
Lab. Code -107.HMV -108.HMV -109.HMV -110.HMV -111.HMV -112.HMV -113.HMV -114.HMV Description of the sample A bead. Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.6 cm; d max 1.2 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, colour ochre, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semi-transparent. A bead fragmented; no surface layer. Probably irregular biconical shape. Size (preserved): l 0.9 cm; d max 1.3 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with yellow-brown colour, semi-transparent. A bead. Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 1.2 cm; d max 1.8 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semitransparent. A bead fragmented. Irregular biconical shape. Size: l (preserved) 1.8 cm; d max 1.8 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, ochre in colour, opaque. Inner part redbrown, semi-transparent. A bead fragmented. Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 1.5 cm; d max 2.8 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, ochre brown in colour, opaque. Inner part redbrown, semi-transparent. A bead fragmented. Irregular biconical shape. Size: l (preserved) 1.7 cm; d max 2.3 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, ochre brown in colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semi-transparent. A bead fragmented. Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 1.3 cm; d max 1.6 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, red-brown ochre in colour, opaque. Inner part redbrown, semi-transparent. A bead fragmented. Probably irregular biconical shape. Size: l (preserved) 0.7 cm; d max (preserved) 1.4 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with a cracked surface, ochre in colour, opaque. Inner part yellow-brown, semi-transparent. Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic

archaeological amber from the late bronze and iron ages

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Grave 17 from the flat necropolis at Katrishte Date: the end of VII the beginning of VI century BC. Place of preservation: Regional Historical Museum Kyustendil; inventory number II-301, , . Publication: Georgieva et al. 1998.
Lab. Code AM-121.HMKn AM-122.HMKn AM-123.HMKn AM-124.HMKn AM-125.HMKn AM-126.HMKn AM-127.HMKn Lab. Code AM-53.VOD AM-54.SOP AM-55.VAL Description of the sample A piece of a bead. Oval shape. Size: d (preserved) 0.7 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semitransparent. A bead (fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l (preserved) 0.9 cm; d (preserved) 0.9 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semi-transparent. A bead (fragmented). Irregular biconical shape. Size: l 0.75 cm; d 0.8 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, yellow-brown ochre colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Irregular cylindrical shape. Size: l (preserved) 0.4 cm; d 0.6 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Irregular spherical shape. Size: l 0. 5 cm; d 0.7 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown ochre colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Cylindrical shape. Size: l 0.4 cm; d 0.6 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, yellow-brown red-brown colour, opaque. A bead (fragmented). Irregular rhomboid shape. Size: l 0.4 cm; d 0.7 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Description of the sample A bead. A bead. A bead. Findspot Necropolis, grave 20, Vodovrati, Veles Necropolis Dabitsi, grave 1. Tumulus IX, Sopot, Veles Dedeli. Naod Valandovo. Date XII XI century BC. VII VI century BC. VII VI century BC. Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Baltic Origin Baltic Baltic Baltic

The necropolis at Trebenishte, Macedonia Date: the end of VI century BC. Place of preservation: National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Sofia. Publication: Filow / Schkorpil 1927.
Lab. Code -115.NAM Description of the sample A piece of a bead in the shape of a crater without handles. Size: l (preserved) 1.3 cm; w (preserved) 1.25 cm; t (preserved) 0.5 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semitransparent. Inv. # 7002. A piece of a long bead. Cylindrical shape, decoration of horizontal incised lines. Size: l (preserved) 1 cm; d 0.6 cm; d o 0.1 cm. Amber with redbrown colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semi-transparent. Inv. # 7002. A bead (fragmented) in the shape of a crater without handles. Size: l (preserved) 1.7 cm; w max 1.8 cm; t max 1 cm; d o 0.2 cm. Amber, red-brown colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semi-transparent. Inv. # 7003. A piece of a bead in the shape of a crater without handles. Size: l (preserved) 1.2 cm; w 1.4 cm; t 0.7 cm. Amber with cracked surface, red-brown to ochre colour, opaque. Inner part yellow-brown, semi-transparent. Inv. # 7003. A bead (fragmented). Elliptical shape, decoration of incised lines. Size: l 1.3 cm; w 0.85 cm; t (1/2 preserved) 0.4 cm; d o 0.15 cm. Amber, red-brown colour, opaque. Inner part red-brown, semi-transparent. Inv. # 7003. A piece of a long bead in the form of irregular parallelepiped. Size: l (preserved) 1.6 cm; w 1 cm; t 1.1 cm; d o 0.3 cm. Amber with slightly cracked surface, red-brown colour, opaque. Inner part yellow-brown, semi-transparent. Inv. # 7003. Findspot grave V Origin Baltic

-116.NAM

grave V

Baltic

-117.NAM

grave VI

Baltic

-118.NAM

grave VI

Baltic

-119.NAM

grave VI

Baltic

-120.NAM

grave VII

Baltic

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bIblIogrAPhy

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recent and fossil resins: electron micrograph studies on tissue preserved in Baltic amber. Journal of Baltic Studies XVI (3), Special Issue: Studies in Baltic Amber, 222-230. Ribechini, E. 2008. Private communication. Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Universit di Pisa. Ribechini, E. / Rocchi, M. / Deviese, M. / Colombini, P. 2008. European provenance ambers: Gas chromatographic and mass spectrometric investigations, In: 37th International Symposium on Archaeometry. Siena, May 12th 16th 2008. Rottlnder, R.C.A. 1969. Bernstein durch Dimerisierung von Abietinsure. Tetrahedron Letters 47, 4129-4230. Rottlnder, R. 1970. On the formation of amber from Pinus resin. Archaeometry 12, 35-51. Rottlnder, R. 1984/85. Noch einmal: Neue Beitrge zur Kenntnis des Bernsteins. Acta Praehistorica et Archaeologica 16/17, 223-236. Solomons, T. / Fryhle, C. 2007. Organic Chemistry. Wiley. 76-85. Sprincz, E. / Beck, C.W. 1981. Classification of the amber beads of the Hungarian Bronze Age. Journal of Field Archaeology 8, 469-485. Stout, E. / Beck, C.W. / Anderson, K. 2000. Identification of rumanite (Romanian amber) as thermally altered succinite (Baltic amber). Physics and

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45

, , . , , . - , , . - - , -, . , , . , , . , (, .) . 92 ( 2002, 11-12; Kuleff et al. 2002, 757-760; ). , Curt W. Beck (Beck et al. 1965), . 1250 1175 cm-1 . , , . , , .. . . , - - . , , . , ( . Palavestra / Krsti 2006), , , , (Kuleff et al. 2002, 759). , , ( 2002, 12-15). , . . . , , . , .

46

silviya ivanova / ivelin kuleff

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Silviya Ivanova, PhD student Faculty of History University of Sofia St. Kliment Ohridski 15 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd BG-1504 Sofia silvivanova@abv.bg

Prof. Dr. Ivelin Kuleff, DSc. Faculty of Chemistry University of Sofia St. Kliment Ohridski 1 James Bourchier Blvd. BG-1164 Sofia kuleff@chem.uni-sofia.bg