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date: 26 November 2022



  • D. W. R. Ridgway


Amber, a fossil resin, has a wide natural distribution in northern Europe and is also found in Sicily: so far as is known, the amber from the classical Mediterranean was Baltic. It has been found at Ras Shamra (*Ugarit) and Atchana, and also appears in the terremare (see terramara) in northern Italy. The earliest amber from the classical world comes from the Shaft-Graves at *Mycenae; amber is rare in Minoan Crete. There is evidence for amber workshops as early as the neolithic in the east Baltic area, and during the early and middle bronze age amber travelled from west Jutland across Germany along the rivers to the Po (Padus) and the head of the Adriatic. The trade was probably conducted by central European middlemen who could exchange metal for amber for onward transmission both to the east Mediterranean and westwards to Britain. Amber beads were common throughout bronze age Europe, and reached Brittany, central France, and the Iberian peninsula; a gold-bound amber disc from Isopata (LM III A) and a crescentic necklace from Kakovatos in *Elis (LH II A) have striking British affinities.


  • Ancient Economy

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