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Gold in Antiquity
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Gold in Antiquity

Gold, chemical symbol Au (from the Latin aurum meaning 'shining dawn'), is a precious metal which has been used since antiquity in the production of jewellery, coinage, sculpture, vessels and as a decoration for buildings, monuments and statues...
The Gold Trade of Ancient & Medieval West Africa
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Gold Trade of Ancient & Medieval West Africa

West Africa was one of the world's greatest producers of gold in the Middle Ages. Trade in the metal went back to antiquity but when the camel caravans of the Sahara linked North Africa to the savannah interior, the trade really took off...
Byzantine Coinage
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Byzantine Coinage

The coinage of the Byzantine Empire continued that of its more ancient predecessors and functioned as a convenient method of payment for goods and services, especially to soldiers and officials, and as a means for people to pay their taxes...
The Gold Crowns of Silla
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Gold Crowns of Silla

The Silla Kingdom ruled south-eastern Korea during the Three Kingdoms period (1st century BCE - 7th century CE) and then, as the Unified Silla Kingdom, all of Korea from 668 to 935 CE. The Silla produced fine pieces of art, but their most...
Silver in Antiquity
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Silver in Antiquity

Silver had great value and aesthetic appeal in many ancient cultures where it was used to make jewellery, tableware, figurines, ritual objects and rough-cut pieces known as hacksilver which could be used in trade or to store wealth. The metal...
Oxus Treasure
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Oxus Treasure

The Oxus Treasure is a collection of 180 artifacts of precious metal, dated to the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE), which were discovered on the north bank of the Oxus River near the town of Takht-i Sangin in Tajikstan between 1876-1880...
El Dorado
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

El Dorado

El Dorado ('Gilded Man' or 'Golden One') referred to the legendary kings of the Muisca (Chibcha) people who populated the northern Andes of modern-day Colombia from 600 to 1600. The name derives from the coronation ritual when the new king...
Pizarro and Atahualpa: The Curse of the Lost Inca Gold
Articleby Bill Yates

Pizarro and Atahualpa: The Curse of the Lost Inca Gold

In November 1532 CE, Francisco Pizarro led a group of about 160 conquistadors into the Inca city of Cajamarca. The illiterate and illegitimate son of an Extremaduran nobleman and an impoverished woman, Pizarro had spent his entire life on...
Midas
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Midas

Midas was a mythical king of Phrygia in Asia Minor who was famous for his extraordinary ability to change anything he touched into gold. This gift was given to him by Dionysos in thanks for his hospitality to the wise satyr Silenus. Midas...
Cibola - The Seven Cities of Gold & Coronado
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Cibola - The Seven Cities of Gold & Coronado

The Seven Cities of Cibola are the mythical lands of gold that the Spanish of the 16th century believed existed somewhere in the southwest of North America, comparable to the better-known mythical city of El Dorado. No sites matching the...