Amber; It is a stone made of fossilized wood resin that has been accepted as valuable since antiquity because of its color and natural beauty. But according to a new research, amber has played an important role in the history of the Mediterranean region as well as its aesthetic qualities.
Mercedes Murillo-Barroso and his colleagues at the University of Granada have unearthed archaeological evidence that prehistoric amber has wandered through extensive clearing nets.
Previous research could trace the exchange nets of amber, raw materials and decorative objects until the Late Paleolithic turn (40,000 to 8,000 years ago). However, the precise geographical range of these old trade routes remained uncertain to this day.
To determine their origins, researchers used a technique known as infrared spectroscopy to analyze 22 amber samples from Portugal and Spain, dating from 4,000 to 1,000 BC.
The results obtained showed that, parallel to previous researches, the amber in the North Iberian Peninsula was mostly produced locally, but in the rest of the peninsula, mostly from Sicily or the Baltic region.
New Archaeological Discoveries
The team then combined this data with other archaeological information and found that the amber in Sicily came to the Iberian Peninsula at least 4,000 BC. So I guessed long before. It also turned out that in the 2nd millennium BC, at the beginning of the Bronze Age there was a decrease in amber consumption and trade. Later, after about 1000 BC, the Baltic amber on the Iberian Peninsula began to take on the Sicilian amber.
According to the researchers, these findings draw a general picture of extensive Mediterranean change networks during the Late Prehistoric period.
Murillo-Barroso, “We came up from traditional challenges in attempts to associate corroded amber with a geological source. Thanks to this new study, we now have evidence of the development of the Sicilian amber at least on the Iberian Peninsula since the 4th millennium BC. This amber appears in the Iberian regions in the south, and its distribution is the same as ivory. So maybe Sicilian ammunition has reached the Iberian Peninsula through North Africa contacts, “he says.
After the Late Bronze Age, the Baltic amber has a large number of archaeological sites and is strangely associated with iron, silver and ceramics. This points to the Mediterranean links.
Marcos Martinón-Torres, co-author of the study, says, “This indicates that the amber from the north may have been moved southward into Central Europe before being sent to the West by Mediterranean marines. So it challenges the previous theories of direct trade between Scandinavia and Iberia, “he says.