The origin of amber

Scientists estimate that Baltic amber was formed about 40 million years ago in an era called the Late Eocene. In the largest then land, in the area of today's northern Europe -Fennoscandia, huge forests grew.

Trees grew in the forest, which for reasons not fully explained to date began to have a very intensive resin tapping. This huge resin tapping could have stimulated volcanic eruptions, climate change or tree diseases. Resin trickled down the bark, dripped from tree wounds, and accumulated inside the damaged trunks. In the course of millions of years, it solidified, undergoes a slow polymerization process - a change that hardened and consolidated it. Erosion caused washing of nuggets to streams and ever larger rivers. Today, we find them in river sediments under the bottom of the Gulf of Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea and its coast, and in all places in which ice ages have transferred them.

Inclusions found in amber confirm that many species of trees, shrubs and smaller plants grew in the Eocene forest. From their remains in Baltic amber over 350 species of different plants have been identified.

The flora of the amber forest was varied, depending on the type of terrain on which the forest grew. These areas were covered with pinewood forests and mixed pine and palm forests. In this forest grew oaks, beeches, chestnuts, maples, redwoods, olive and cinnamon trees and shrubs such as magnolias, holly and laurels. In the vicinity of the river, shrubby thickets and pinnate trees predominated. In this forest, lived the ancestors of today's birds, reptiles, mammals and insects, and evidence of this are inclusions containing mammalian fur, bird feathers, snail shells or small reptiles submerged in amber.