The ancient amber trade routes brought faraway nations into contact with one another and served as a communications and trade hub. As a luxury item found only in a few widely dispersed areas, amber was one of the few products deemed worthy of transporting such long and arduous distances. From the Baltic Sea, down the Elbe River, and on to the Danube, one can trace the ancient amber trade routes.
Amber was one of the first commercial products, and has been traded for centuries. It has been found in the form of pendants dating from the Paleolithic Era (c. 12,000 B.C.).
During the 1st-4th Centuries BC, it was the Celts who re-established what would have been even to them, much more ancient trade roads previously dominated by others, including the Phoenicians. Amber artefacts from various periods have been found in Mycenae shaft graves (Greece) as well as finds in Babylonia and Egypt (Tutenkhamen’s tomb) & even in Brighton (UK) where a particularly famous amber cup from a burial mound is housed.
We learn from the Great Book of Amber that in the time of Nero, an expedition was sent by Julianus to the Baltic Coast to procure amber. It was brought back in such abundance that the ‘ “stage set” for the fight [gladitorial] w[ere] based exclusively on amber. Even the ‘ “mesh” ‘ used for restraining wild animals and covering the podium had a piece of amber in every knot.’ ” –Pliny, Natrualis historia, XXXVII*
The Dark Ages descended and a period of great social unrest and migration began. By the 1100s, Gdansk served as the main center of amber production. The introduction of Christianity resulted in the popularization of the cross as an amber motif.
Amber is aloso discussed by Theophrastus in the 4th century BC, and again by Pytheas (c. 330 BC) whose work “On the Ocean” is lost.
In old times we had romans, greeks and many many more very old civilizations going absolutely crazy about amber. In new days we can see many famous people wearing amber jewelery on many occasions. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets can be seen on every red carpet. Amber teething necklaces are commonly used to reliev pain for small kids.