HISTORYAmber fascinated people from times
immemorial. The intriguing substance radiating warmth, charm and beauty had a
magical meaning among ancient people. Oracles wore amber amulets and used
other ritual amber carvings as the greats did. Amber was so expensive that
only very rich people could obtain it. An aesthetic quality of amber was
accepted throughout the ages. At various times, Phoenicians, Etruscans,
Greeks, Romans, all had a huge interest in the warm gem of sun color. Archaeologists have found amber in prehistoric
burials dating the find out since the Neolithic, 15,000 years before Christ.
Baltic amber has been found among Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun's (King
Tut's) burial items, in
La Garma A cave site and in numerous places across the old continent. Many stone Age and
Neolithic amber artifacts have been found in Juodkrante and Palanga,
Lithuania. Scientists date the find outs to be
4,000 to 1,600
years before Christ. Also
Treasure in Lithuania had interesting Neolithic amber collection. Many
Viking and Medieval age finds have occurred in East Baltic. Amber
was also found in Troy, excavated by Schliemann.The first known written reference to amber is
in Odyssey by Homer, approximately 700 years before Christ. Electron, the
Greek name for amber gave the name for our electricity. Amber was
so popular at the Bronze Age that it was widely traded between the Baltic to the
Mediterranean Sea coast. Thus the legendary
Amber Road has occurred.Amber was a favorite gemstone of the Romans.
(a.k.a. Pliny the Elder), in his
(Natural History), has described Roman expedition to the Baltic coast for the
acquisition of amber around 60 A.D. Roman Emperor Nero has sponsored the long
ride himself, and the Roman equites (the Roman equestrian detachment) brought
back a huge amounts of amber, even enough to ornament a whole stage for the
fight of gladiators and gladiators themselves.
Baltic Amber nuggets on a display, Lithuania.
The Teutonic Knights, in the end of 13th
century, obtained a monopoly on collecting raw amber and also amber production
in the territory they've controlled. Unauthorized collecting of amber brought
a death sentence.The history of amber also involves mysteries
of our days. The legendary
Amber Room which Friedrich Wilhelm I gifted to Peter the Great of Russia
in 1717 was brought to
Königsberg during WWII in 1942. Nobody has seen it since April 1945
and its turbid disappearance is still a mystery. The most striking vestiges amber leaves today
is its aesthetic role in the industry of jewelry and invaluable importance to
science.We encourage you to
literature on amber.
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