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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

History of Gold

When thinking about the progress of technology, we think of iron and copper-working, but gold was the first metal widely known and used. Gold became a part of every human culture, not only for its luster but also because of its malleability and its resistance to tarnish.
In Homer’s writings, he mentions gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans.
The oldest extant gold treasure map was created around the time of Seti I (1320 B.C.) in Egypt. In the Turin Museum is a papyrus and fragments, the “Carte des mines d’or”. It pictures gold mines, miners’ quarters, and roads to the mines. Some believe it portrays the Wadi Fawakhir region where the El Sid mine is, but like many ancient drawings, the map is a bit elusive and vague.
The "Gold of Troy" treasure hoard, excavated in Turkey and dating to the era 2450 -2600 B.C., showed the range of gold-work from delicate jewelry to a gold gravy boat weighing a full troy pound. This was a time when gold was highly valued, but had not yet become money itself. Rather, it was owned by the powerful and well-connected, or made into objects of worship, or used to decorate sacred locations.
Incas referred to gold as “the tears of the sun”.
The search for gold has fed the imagination of poets and writers, and long after Jason and the Argonauts searched for the Fleece, the promise of wealth drew men West and helped develop a country. The appeal of gold has never dimmed, and now, more than ever, we are reminded that the value of gold may rise and fall through the centuries, but it will never, ever, be worth nothing.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

What an interesting post. Thank you for sharing the information!

catslady said...

I love the term, tears of the sun.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Rosemary: I'm glad you stopped by, and congrats on your May novel!
Drop back by anytime. You never know what we'll be talking about.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Catslady: Glad you stopped. I always enjoy reading your comments. I like that term too. One of us may have to use it in a story.