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The Amber Road
The Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber. As one of the waterways and ancient highways, for centuries the road led from Europe to Asia and back, and from northern Africa to the Mediterranean Seamarker.

An important raw material, amber was transported from the North Seamarker and Baltic Seamarker coasts overland by way of the Vistula and Dnieper rivers to Italymarker, Greecemarker, the Black Seamarker, and Egyptmarker thousands of years ago, and long after.

In Roman times, a main route ran south from the Baltic coast in Prussia through the land of the Boii (modern Czech Republicmarker and Slovakiamarker) to the head of the Adriatic Seamarker. The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun or 'Tut' had Baltic amber among his burial goods, and amber was sent from the North Sea to the temple of Apollo at Delphimarker as an offering. From the Black Seamarker, trade could continue to Asia along the Silk Road, another ancient trade route.

The Old Prussian towns of Kaupmarker and Trusomarker on the Baltic were the starting points of the route to the south. In Scandinavia the amber road probably gave rise to the thriving Nordic Bronze Age culture, bringing influences from the Mediterranean Sea to the northernmost countries of Europe.

Sometimes the Kaliningrad Oblastmarker is called the Янтарный край, which means the Amber area.

Names

  • or Jantarowy Szlak


Overview of known amber finding places in Europe

Amber roads connect amber finding locations to customer sites in Europe, in the Middle East regions and in the Far East.

Amber finding locations in Europe


Overview of known amber roads by country

Central Europe

The shortest (and possibly oldest) road avoids alpine areas and led from the Baltic coastline (Estoniamarker) through Polandmarker, Silesia, passed the Moravian Gatemarker, followed the river Morava to Slovakiamarker, where it crossed the Danube to Austriamarker near Carnuntummarker, heading southwards down to Aquileiamarker at the Adriaticmarker coast.

Germany

Amber Roads in Germany
Several roads connected the North Sea and Baltic Seas, especially the city of Hamburgmarker to the Brenner Passmarker, proceeding southwards to Brindisimarker in Italy and Ambracia (Greece). (See map at right)

Switzerland

The Swissmarker region indicates a number of alpine roads, concentrating around the capital city Bernmarker and probably originating from the borders of the Rhône River and the Rhinemarker.

The Netherlands

A small section, including Baarnmarker, Barneveldmarker, Amersfoortmarker and Amerongen, connected the North Sea with the Lower Rhine.

Belgium

A small section, led southwards from Antwerpmarker and Brugesmarker to the towns Braine-l’Alleud and Braine-le-Comte, both originally named "Brennia-Brenna". The route continued by following the Meuse Rivermarker towards Bernmarker in Switzerland.

France

Three routes may be identified leading from an amber finding region or delta at the mouth of River Openia towards Bresse and Bern, crossing the Alps to Switzerland and Italy.

Southern France and Spain

Routes connecting amber finding locations at Ambares (near Bordeauxmarker), leading to Béarn and the Pyrenees. Routes connecting the amber finding locations in northern Spain and in the Pyrenees were a trading route to the Mediterranean Sea.

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