HISTORY               v Geography v DEPOSITS v STRUCTURE v AGE v SCIENCE v Threats v Inspiration v
Amber 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 Biskupin, Mycenaean tombs,  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 Daktariske 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. Plinius Maior (a.k.a. Pliny the Elder), in his NATURALIS HISTORIAE (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. (R.V. Byenes)

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 review the literature on amber.

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