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...
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 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...
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...
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...
A Gift from King Shulgi: A Pair of Gold Earrings
Gold is a treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world, and succeeds in helping souls into paradise. Christopher Columbus. On June 22, 2005, the Sulaymaniyah Museum of Iraqi Kurdistan purchased a pair...
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 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...
Gold Medal of Mary I of England
A 1555 CE gold medal showing Mary I of England (r. 1553-1558 CE). (British Museum, London)
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...