|Magnus Olaus - Histoire des pays
septentrionaux - Paris 1561
|Raw amber with marine
incrustations - 0943
violent storms the amber, burried under layers of earth and sand, is torn out
the seabed (thixotropie) and deposited on the shores ( the
specific weight of amber is between 1,05 and 1,10). Since times unknown people pick it up and put it for sale.
the late 1600 consistent deposits were found inland. These are still active and
furnish most of the amber on the market today.
This amber is quite soft, about 2,5 Mohs,
thus easy to work. It has been used
since prehistoric times to create small objects and jewels
ancient times the amber was claimed to have healing capacities and magic
power, for instance for its capacity to attract
hair or wool when rubbed (the principles of electrostatics yet
unknown) and the mysterious presence of parts of plants or small insects.
most of its secrets have been unveiled
the amber is still object to empiric practices, as remedy for impotency (just
keep a piece of amber in your pocket !) nervous or digestive disorder or as
ingredient for beauty creams.
to ancient arab belief amber prevents the transmission of contagious
diseases one might be infected with
due to the promiscuous use of the water pipe. Therefore amber is still used in
mouthpieces for pipes or cigarette holders.
The film Jurassic Park gave way to
a big revival and renewed scientific interest in amber and its various
inclusions, that allow studies on the evolution and the development of living creatures
American Museum of Natural History entitled its web page on amber “Amber,
Window to the Past”, summarizing very
well the emotional and scientific content of
this warm “stone”: through this window you may bring to life again the
tragedy of the small insects trapped in the amber, know their habits, their
environment, the vegetation, climate and with a little help of your imagination
find yourself in this world gone by