Janet Ambers


+44 (0)20 7323 8332


Janet Ambers currently works mostly on the imaging of museum related materials, with a specific interest in radiography, and on the analysis of museum objects using various techniques but with an emphasis on Raman spectroscopy. Her particular interests include pigment analysis with particular emphasis on the palette of Ancient Egypt, the identification of gemstones, jades and geological materials by Raman spectroscopy and the radiography of ceramics and other similar materials.

Previously she ran the British Museum radiocarbon laboratory until its closure in 2000 and has an interest in all forms of archaeological dating. She has also worked on the analysis of stable isotopes in bone.

Current projects

Radiographic imaging of ceramics with particular regard to manufacturing methods

The technical examination of prints and drawing

Scientific examination of icons

Scientific examination of Ancient Egyptian pigments

Scientific study of material from Ringlemere Anglo Saxon cemetery

Previous projects

Radiography of material from The Royal cemetery of Ur

Radiocarbon and other dating of numerous archaeological sites

Scientific examination of the Gayer-Anderson cat

Analysis of stable isotope levels in human and animal bone with reference to dietary intakes.

Recent publications

J.Ambers, C.Higgitt, L.Harrison and D.Saunders (eds) Holding It All Together: ancient and modern  approaches to joining, repair and consolidation, (London, Archetype Publications, 2009).

J.Ambers, C.Higgitt and D.Saunders (eds) Italian Renaissance Drawings: Technical Examination and Analysis, (London, Archetype Publications, 2010).

A. Fletcher, J. Pearson and J. Ambers, “The manipulation of social and physical identities in the Neolithic: a new radiographic investigation of a plastered skull from Jericho”, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 18 (2008), pp.309-325.

J. Ambers, D. Hook, N. Spencer, F.Shearman, S. La Niece, R. Stacey and C. Cartwright “A  new look at an old cat: a technical investigation of the Gayer-Anderson cat” British Museum Technical Research Bulletin, 2 (2008), pp.1-12.

 Angeliki Lymberopoulou,; Lynne Harrison and Janet Ambers “The Noli Me Tangere icon at the British Museum: vision, message and reality”, in: Angeliki Lymberopoulou (ed) Images of the Byzantine World: Visions, Messages and Meanings: Studies presented to Leslie Brubaker, (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2011) pp. 185–214.