Fragments of the world from millions of years ago enclosed in amber nuggets - briefly about inclusions in Baltic amber

February 2, 2019 /  

Inclusions in Baltic amber have always been treated in a special way. They are currently sought after, admired and appreciated. They are also the subject of scientific research. They should be treated with due respect because they conceal the "life" of many millions of years ago.

First, let's start by explaining what inclusions in Baltic amber are really? So the inclusion in amber is everything that got into it naturally, when 40 million years ago the resin was flowing down abundantly from the trees. They are mainly plants and animals that lived in the amber forest, but not only. They can also be air bubbles, water drops, dust, sand or pyrite crystals. 

Amber containing inclusions are extremely valuable and are an invaluable source of information for paleontologists and paleobotanists. Conducting research on inclusions, you can reconstruct the composition of amber forests, identify insects and small animals. The age of inclusions is dated to the age of the amber in which they survived. Also noteworthy is the fact that completely different inclusions have been preserved in Baltic amber, others in Dominican or Lebanese amber, and others in Colombian copal. First of all, these differences result from the fact that plants or animals existing at the time of the creation of e.g. Lebanese amber were extinct until the birth of Baltic amber.

Animal inclusions predominate in Baltic amber nuggets. First of all, insects are found whose size does not exceed one centimeter. However, larger insects are rare. Based on many years of paleontological research, we can certainly say that birds, reptiles and mammals lived in the amber forest. This is evidenced by various inclusions, among others mammal hair, lizards, snail shells or bird feathers. The amber lumps also have characteristic dents that resemble animal footprints.

Plant inclusions are quite rare and make up only about three percent of all organic inclusions found. Based on the found fragments of bark, wood, flowers and spores, leaves and needles, it was found that about 215 plant species lived in the amber forest. It is impossible to list all of them, but for example, they were redwoods, date palms, oaks, chestnuts, olive and cinnamon trees, maples, wild wine, ferns, grasses, tea bushes, mosses, lichens, mushrooms and many species of pinewoods.

Amber inclusions are very popular, which is why amber with "traces of life" achieve much higher prices. Hence? The creation of "artificial" inclusions is a common phenomenon, since animals have long been immersed in amber, including lizards and crabs. This is a fake, and an unconscious customer will buy everything. Most often these are inclusions embedded in plastic, but unfortunately there are also perfect counterfeits, increasingly difficult to detect. For example, they can be properly crafted modern organisms embedded in pressed amber. How not to be fooled? How to protect yourself from this? To buy inclusions you should have a minimum knowledge of amber and the inclusions themselves, and purchase in proven and recommended stores, demanding a certificate of authenticity.

If you want to familiarize yourself with the subject of inclusions and see the fragments of the world from millions of years ago with your own eyes, we encourage you to visit the Amber Museum in Krakow and the exhibition "Amber - its beauty and history". You're welcome!

Visiting the exhibition Amber Museum

Ladies and Gentlemen! From November 2023 the form of our Amber Museum is changing. The current exhibition is smaller and available to you as part of the Boruni Gallery.

Adults and children with guardians can visit the Museum without prior reservation during the museum's opening hours.

Opening hours:
Mon - Thu 10:00-20:00
Fri - Sun 10:00 - 20:00
Admission is free.
Telephone: +48 513 511 512

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