Gold Gold Gold
Gold Gold Gold
Ancient Gold Jewellery
The earliest known gold jewellery dates from the Sumer civilisation, which inhabited what is now southern Iraq around 3000 BC. Articles displaying various techniques such as repoussé, chain-making, alloying and casting have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, with the best known examples coming from the treasures of King Tutankhamun who died in 1352 BC.
The first examples ‘cable chain’, an ever-popular design of gold jewellery, were produced by The Minoans on Crete.
The Conquest of Aztec & Inca Gold
In the 1500s, the Spaniards came to Mexico seeking gold and spices, but when they saw Aztec gold, the spices were quickly forgotten. Under Cortez, the Spaniards pillaged and plundered, massacring 50,000 Indians in their lust for the gold of King Montezuma and King Guatemoc.
With victory, Cortez gained entry to the Southern Mixtec provinces with their rich aluvial gold deposits, where Mexico still extracts some 150,000 ounces of gold a year.
In 1531 in Peru, Cortez’ countryman Pizarro was also bent on conquest. He pushed high into the mountains of the Andes, where the Incas were reported to have glorious stores of gold and silver.
In a battle which lasted only half an hour, 6,000 Incas were killed and Pizarro and his men enriched themselves with the fabulous golden booty. They melted down an estimated 13 tons of golden artifacts because ingots were easier to divide and transport. One of the great cultural treasures of the world was lost forever.
As early as the 13th century indiginous goldsmiths produced finely crafted items. The bloody conquest of South America meant that the Spanish won gold & glory, but the art of pre-Columbian goldsmiths was lost forever.
The Golden Fleece
Fabled skin of a golden ram. By it the childen of the King of Thebes were carried off from their enemies. Helle fell into the sea, but Phrixus reached Colchis where he sacrificed the ram. Its skin (the golden fleece) was hung in the Temple of Ares.
Later, Jason and the Argonauts brought it back to Thessaly after their great adventure.
The Golden Rule,
‘What has been called the essence of Christian teaching was not Christian at all but a precept common to all the ancient world’, wrote Barbara Walker. In the Tantric law of karma a yogi was told to : “… do good to other human beings as if they were his own self.”
Akkadian maxim : “Do not return evil to your adversary; requite with kindness the one who does evil to you.”
Ancient Egyptian proverb : “Do the other good, that he may do good to you.” The Greeks had it as : “He who does wrong to another, does wrong to himself.” Judaism also adopted the principle : “Do unto others what thou wouldst not they should do unto you, this is the whole of the Law.