Bursztyn bałtycki i inne żywice kopalne w świetle badań fizykochemicznych

Aniela Matuszewska


Baltic amber and other fossil resins in the light of physicochemical studies.
A b s t r a c t. The paper presents some problems in the studies on Baltic amber (succinite) and other fossil resins. Natural resins form a large group of fossils already known from various parts of the world. However, they markedly differ in age and origin which creates problems in their systematic nomenclature. At the beginning of this paper some definitions are presented concerning the scientific nomenclature of fossil resins as well as practical terminology. The fossil resins are the objects of interest of many scientific domains, especially as they are used for many purposes. The resins are investigated by scientists representing various natural sciences as well as archeologists and representatives of other disciplines; and in the aspect of application they are widely used in jewelry making as well as in some branches of industry (e.g. chemical and pharmaceutical). Variability of fossil resins along with complexity of their structure and composition, and broad issues of genesis and various historical aspects form a vast field of for further studies. However, the studies require the use of a multilateral approach, including instrumental analysis. The paper presents several examples of selected physicochemical methods which should be highly useful in solving questions concerning origin and composition as well as properties of fossil resins.

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