The Amber Road: Ancient Trade Route through Europe with Dr. Nina Wieda
Among emeralds and rubies, Tutankhamun’s crown features a magnificent piece of amber, which science recently confirmed as originating from the Baltic Sea. This discovery proves that a trade route once connected the Baltic Sea coast to southern lands as far away as Egypt. Scholars jokingly refer to this Amber Road as "the Silk Road's older sister."
Newly unveiled research on the Amber Road reveals the ancient world as a lot more interconnected than scholars originally imagined. Baltic islanders and coastal peoples retained their cultural identity and their pagan beliefs until the 13th century CE, but they had traded with the Mediterranean empires for millennia prior to that.
Our conversation will take learners along this ancient trading route from the Baltic shores to Venice and Sicily, illuminating some of history’s dramatic moments involving amber - the gold of the north. Among them is the mystery of the 6-ton Amber Room from Catherine’s Palace in Russia, dubbed “the eighth wonder of the world" (pictured at left).
Led by an expert on Eastern Europe, Nina Wieda, this Conversation will introduce participants to the ancient mysteries of the Amber Road Trade Route. Designed to inspire curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the region’s spectacular history.
Nina Wieda is a native of the Caucasus living in Chicago, USA. She holds a PhD in Slavic from Northwestern University and an MA in Nationalism Studies from Central European University. She worked as a newspaper journalist in the Caucasus and wrote her Master's thesis about the Northern Caucasus region. She teaches at Northwestern University near Chicago.