Rīga 2014 expedition explores the ancient Amber Route
This was the first expedition along the new Amber Route in the European Capital of Culture year project. The members of the eight-day expedition made their way from Prague to Zurich, a total of more than 1 700 kilometres, crossing seven countries: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
The expedition team studied the presence and influence of Baltic amber in these countries and established contacts for new cooperation projects. Expedition members did this by meeting renowned scientists, knowledgeable museum curators, amber research enthusiasts and, simply very interesting people.
The members of the expedition were Vita Timermane-Moora, curator of the Rīga 2014 Amber Vein chapter, Rīga Technical University researcher Inga Ļašenko and the creative team from TV programme Ziemeļu puse (Nordic Style) – presenters Marta Selecka and Gustavs Terzens, as well as cameraman Valdis Celmiņš.
As far as ancient European trade routes go, researchers and historians cite the Amber Route as being in the ‘top division’. Many historic manuscripts on eras as far back as the Stone and Bronze ages attest to amber being the most valuable currency of its time, but texts about the Roman Empire are a particularly rich source of ancient testimony to the significance of the Amber Route. Chemical analysis of amber can pinpoint the site of its origin and it is now understood that Baltic amber was found both in Tutankhamun’s tomb and the Seal of Solomon.
A number of expeditions are planned to explore the ancient Amber Route and they will be compiled in a TV series to be broadcast in the spring of 2014.