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The first scientist to prove that amber is fossilized tree resin was Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer. He was led to this idea by frozen insects that occur in pieces of amber, as well as the smell of resin that appears during the burning of the mineral. Explore the world of this timeless gemstone and its historical significance at yantar.ua.
Later, German scientists repeatedly tried to disprove this version of the origin of the stone and offered their own: for example, it is alleged that amber is formed in the bowels of the Earth, and when it flows to the surface, it solidifies; or that it is a product of the combination of petroleum with mineral acids.
Today, science has already proven that many millions of years ago, as a result of climate change, there was a strong leakage of tree resin. The substance became dark and solid when exposed to air, then accumulated in the soil. For thousands of years, rivers and streams washed the hardened resins from the earth and carried them further depending on the direction of the currents.
Amber is an organic mineral formed from the resin of ancient trees, mostly conifers. There are several varieties of the gem, let's consider their features and the origin of the names.
Succinite - there is an opinion that the pine "pinus succinifera" contributed to the creation of the name of this type of mineral. It is found mainly among Baltic amber. Its color can be different: yellow, orange, light brown, white.
Hedanite - a name interpreted as "rotten amber" - is a stone with a very low content of oxygen and directly succinic acid. Its usual color is very beautiful - yellow, waxy, but its disadvantage is excessive fragility.
Beckerite - is the opposite of the previous one - white amber. In ancient times, it was considered a panacea for many diseases: angina, cataracts, myopia, heart ailments.
Glassite - This species is brittle, similar to hedanite. It got its name because of the opacity that arose as a result of pollution by the secretions of fossil insects.
Stanthienite- is the name of a type of amber that has a natural black color.
Belief - in the healing properties of amber
There is an ancient belief that once amber was a kind of indicator for detecting poison in the glasses of rulers. According to him, a piece of amber in the poisoned drink began to crackle and shimmer with multi-colored reflections. In addition, in ancient times, the mineral was used to treat mental illnesses, and thanks to its natural warmth, shine and radiance, people found comfort and confidence in their own strength. Using the mineral as an amulet, they protected themselves from evil spirits and the evil eye.
Modern approaches to the beneficial effect of amber on the body
Nowadays, non-traditional medicine also advises using amber and its beneficial properties to improve the health of the human body. It is recommended to be worn by pregnant women, as well as people with thyroid dysfunction and colds. In addition to ordinary wear, you can also use amber aromatherapy: warm crushed amber in a canvas bag in a water bath and breathe over its vapors for several minutes. This method can be effectively used for bronchial asthma and tuberculosis.
Where did the name come from?
The name "amber" in Ancient Russia comes from the ancient Greek word: "ilektrov", which sounded like "electr" or "electron".
The free encyclopedia Wikipedia says that: "In Germany, amber was called Bernstein (German) - from Brennenstein (burning stone): it ignites easily and burns with a beautiful flame, giving off an aroma at the same time. The Middle Low German name also spread in Poland (Polish bursztyn). In turn, the Belarusian and Ukrainian names - amber - came from her.
The Greeks called amber electron - after the star Electra from the Pleiades family in the constellation Taurus. The ancient Greeks were particularly interested in the gem because of its ability to electrify. Actually, the word electricity comes from the Greek word "amber" (Dav.-Greek ἤλεκτρον).
We read further from the same source: "In Ancient Rus, amber was called electric or electron (from Ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον, "amber"). In the alphabet books, electrum is described as "a very honest stone, one of the precious stones we call it, both gold-like and silver-like". Perhaps the flammability of electricity served as a reason for the appearance of the mythical "white combustible stone of Alatyr". Under the name "latyr" or "alatyr-stone", "white combustible stone" (according to the hypothesis of N. I. Nadezhdin, this is a borrowing from the Greek language) is found in epics. In Ukraine, it was called "burnt stone" or "amber".
The proper word "amber" (in the form "entary"), probably borrowed from the Lithuanian language (lit. Gintaras), has been known in the Old Russian language since the middle of the 16th century (first attested in 1551). Ukrainian (as a synonym for the word "amber"), Czech, Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian names are already borrowed from Russian.
Chemical composition of amber: components and their special properties
The complex chemical composition of amber and amber makes them unique materials with numerous special properties. Some of these properties arise from the presence of specific components:
Understanding the chemical composition and its effect on the properties of amber and amber helps us to better appreciate their quality, use and distinction from other materials. Resin acids and resin-like substances affect structural and physical properties such as transparency, hardness and thermal conductivity. Essential oils create a pleasant aroma and can have therapeutic effects. Preservation of inclusions adds value to amber and amber as unique natural artifacts. By considering these factors, we can better distinguish them from other materials and appreciate their unique properties.
As we can see, the origin of the names "amber" and "amber" is almost as old as the mineral itself, and neither the first nor the second of them can be called originally Russian or Ukrainian - they are both borrowed from other languages. But the beautiful living languages of different peoples are that they do not stand still, but constantly develop, multiply, become richer, and all this is thanks to the communication of people, as well as the development and progress of all humanity.