For at least 10 millenia, a special mystique has surrounded amber. This is probably due to the warmth of its color and touch, its lightness, and the small organisms that are sometimes found in it. Some of the oldest Mesolithic artifacts are amber carvings from Europe, and a rich folklore about origins of amber existed among the ancient Greeks, Assyrians, and Romans. The true origins of amber, as a fossilized resin that bled from trees, was first recognized by the Roman natural historian, Pliny the Elder. By the Renaissance Period, amber was used for elaborate figurines, carved bowls, jewelry, pipes, even caskets. The color of amber, especially in Mediterranean cultures, represented luxury.