Health Editor’s Note:  Think about it!  Amber is just fossilized tree sap.  You know, the stuff that gets on your hands and clothing whenever you are around, for instance, a pine tree. Amber was traded during Roman times and its travels were far-reaching.  A replication of the Amber Room, originally located in Charlottenburg Palace in Germany, which was then Prussia, then given to Peter the Great who installed it in Catherine Palace in Russia and then removed by the German soldiers during WWII to be reinstalled in a castle museum from which it disappeared in 1943. The original’s whereabouts are still unknown.

The pieces of amber that I really like are the ones that contain insects, plants, etc. that become stuck in the sap and then suffered through the same fossilizing process that the sap went through to become amber. You can go to any craft fair and find someone there who has fashioned pieces of amber into jewelry ….Carol

Interior of the Amber Room at Catherine Palace

Follow the Ancient Amber Road

by Jennifer Billock

Since about 3000 BCE, amber found its way out of the Baltic Coast region to greater Europe and beyond, carried by traders and travelers along a series of routes, intersecting with the salt and silk roads. According to Anna Sobecka, an amber art expert with the International Amber Association, the resinous gemstone made it all the way to Egypt, adorning the breast ornament of Tutankhamun. Baltic amber has also been found at Mycenae in Greece and in the Royal Tomb of Qatna in Syria.

While under ancient Roman power, the Amber Road took the form that’s most commonly known today: running vertical, one end near Venice and Rome, and the other close to St. Petersburg in Russia. Other paths branched out from this mainline, shipping amber all across Europe and into Asia.

“It is important to realize that the Amber Road is an archeological concept and not a road name used by the ancient Romans,” says Anders Hammarlund, a researcher at the universities of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Uppsala. “The term was coined in the 1920s by the Cambridge archaeologist José Maria de Navarro to denote a set of trails or paths connecting the Baltic and the Adriatic during antiquity.

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