Copal

About the object

Cette résine d’arbre subfossile n’est pas un ambre « véritable », elle est trop jeune pour cela. Toutefois elle contient des inclusions, donc des éléments d’origine animale ou végétale qui permettent d’étudier et de tirer des enseignements sur la composition de la faune et de la flore à l’époque.
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Baltic amber has been a popular and highly valuable trading object since the Stone Age and has even been transported to the Mediterranean region. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BCE) and the Roman poet Martial (40-104 CE) were the first to mention inclusions of bees and ants in amber. These ancestors of today's insects, enclosed in fossilised tree resin and perfectly preserved over millions of years, are invaluable for modern research. Copal, on the other hand, is tropical amber, which, from a geological point of view, is much younger and is not considered to be real amber. These (subfossil) tree resins also contain a large variety of animal and plant inclusions. This piece, a "Copal Oro" from Colombia, largely contains termites.

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