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» Economics » Amber » Topics begins with A » Amber route

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The amber route is an old route from the north and Baltic Sea to the south.


It concerns outside of the Roman realm a set of trade routes, along which amber since prehistory into the alpine countries and Italy one negotiated. By the expansion of the Imperium Romanum to to the Danube the Handeslroute probably already became under Augustus and Tiberius at the beginning of the 1. Century n. Chr. developed as state State of (Roman road) in the area of the Roman realm. The process of the Roman amber route is registered in the Tabula Peutingeriana. The winter-safe connection between Carnuntum at the Danube and Aquileia in Italy is called Roman amber route and is associated to the Roman road system. Plinius the older one (23-79 n. Chr.) reports that amber was transported from the Baltic Sea coast to Aquileia on this road. It it owes to its names.


The trade route already important in prehistory follows approximately 50 km in Lower Austria of the March, crossed with Carnuntum east of Vienna the Danube. Under evasion of the alpine passports the road of Carnuntum, Scarbantia (Sopron) runs, Savaria (Szombathely), Poetovio (Ptuj), Emona (loaf oh, Ljubljana) after Aquileia. Between Sopron and Szombathely the amber route leads by the central castle country (district Oberpullendorf), a celtic iron production area important for the Roman armaments industry. Here also a section of this road stands under Denkmalschutz.Im 3. /4. Century n. Chr. it loses its meaning as connection between Italy and Carnuntum. As far as the Roman amber route did not disappear by covering with modern roads, it is still recognizable on aerial photographs by vegetation characteristics in the grain or as more easily crushed stone barrier in freshly plowed fields.


  • In many areas - e.g. in valley and surfaces of the Thorn Eberswalder Urstromtales, where one found it in the course of adjustments and embankment construction. Archaeologists assume a commercial centre in this region today's Poland.
  • Not far, in the western Thorn Eberswalder Urstromtal one found rich amber camps with the building of the Finowkanals; in addition 1800 with the Mergelabbau a Scholle Glaukonit sand with amber.

See also: Electron, silk road

The burner cities

The amber dealers always selected the safest route with their precious freight. In the antique one this way changed people migrations because of to attack and several times. With equivalent alternatives one selected river courses, whereby gradually Karawansereien with secured overnight accomodation formed.

One differentiates between four routes. The three land routes with their variants orient themselves at the large river courses:

  • The North Sea route (of and over England)
  • The eastern, oldest land route (Weichsel)
  • The Central German land route (or and Elbe)
  • The West German land route (Rhine and Maas)

Detail to the North Sea route

The westernmost amber occurrence was discovered with Cromer in the county Norfolk at the English east coast. As a period for the trade 1600 are indicated - 600 before Christ (source: The gold of the north, Karl magazine Pan, April 1982).

Cromer is only few kilometers to the west of a larger number of localities Burnham because of the sea, which were all within a radius of two miles because of a natural port Brancaster Bay. Remained remaining today: Burnham Thorpe, Burnham Overy, Burnham Norton, Burnham Deepdale, and Burnham Market. (Source: the Domesday Book from 1086)


  • H. Bender, Roman roads and road stations. Small writings for the knowledge of the Roman occupation history of South West German country 13, Hg. Society for pre and early history in and Hohenzollern registered association, Stuttgart 1975.
  • Janos M. Buora, the amber route in the Roman time and the role of Aquileia. Exhibition catalog: Roman amber finds from Aquileia and Scarbantia of the collections of the museums in Udine and Sopron. Hg.: Scarbantia Sopron o.J.
  • Irene Heiling, the Roman amber route in the central castle country. Bgld. Heimatbl. 51/3, 1989, 91ff.
  • Karl Kaus, stores and industrial centre of the Ferrum Noricum, Leobener the Green of booklets, N.F. 2, 74ff.
  • Karl Kaus, castle country. Archaeology and regional studies, Opera selecta. Scientific work from the castle country (WAB) 114, 2006. ISBN 3-85405-153-0
  • Sigrid Strohschneider Laue, Roman amber route central castle country - moving leaders. Oberpullendorf 1992.
  • Sigrid Strohschneider Laue, the Roman amber route, 4/1 (MUAG XLIII), 1993, 69-70.
  • Sigrid Strohschneider Laue, moving way Roman amber route central castle country. The Roman property yard - industry and trade - graves and gravestones, Hg. Association for the preservation of the Roman road in the castle country, Lutzmannsburg 1994.
  • Sigird Strohschneider Laue, direct connection time area - humans. Concept for target group oriented culture switching Roman amber route castle country. Hg. Austrian society for Ur and early history. Vienna 1995.
  • G. Winkler 1985, the Roman roads and milestones in Noricum - Austria. Small writings for the knowledge of the Roman occupation history of South West German country, Hg. Society for pre and early history in and Hohenzollern registered association, Stuttgart 1985.

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