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. Gold does not corrode and so it became a symbol of immortality and power in many ancient cultures... [continue reading]
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A solid gold Minoan pendant depicting two bees clutching a honeycomb (1800-1700 BCE), found in the Old Palace cemetery at Chrysolakkos near Malia, Crete. (Herakleion Archaeological Museum, Crete)
Gold votive double axes, New Palace period (1600-1450 BCE), Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete. The double axe, also known as 'labrys', may be the origin of the labyrinth myth of Knossos.
published on 20 September 2012
An engraved gold ring from the Minoan civilization on Crete, 15-14th century BCE. The ring probably originates from Knossos and depicts the epiphany of a goddess: seated in a shrine, floating in the air and standing in a boat. The hoop is decorated with granulation. (Herakleion Archaeological Museum, Crete).
The jewellery of the Minoan civilization based on Bronze Age Crete demonstrates, as with other Minoan visual art forms, not only a sophisticated technological knowledge (in this case of metalwork) and an ingenuity of design but also a joy in vibrantly representing nature and a love of flowing, expressive, shapes and forms. Materials & Technology... [continue reading]
The golden Mold Cape was discovered in the town of Mold in Flintshire, Wales in 1833 CE. The cape dates from 1900-1600 BCE, and is the only Bronze Age gold cape known to exist. The meaning behind the intricate patterns and designs remains unknown. However there are similarities in design between the gold cape and four Bronze Age gold hats that were discovered... [continue reading]
published on 01 April 2014
A Muisca tunjo or votive offering, 1200-1600 CE. This 20 cm long gold alloy raft has figures standing on it wearing jewellery and recalls the coronation ceremony of the Muisca culture which gave rise to the legend of El Dorado. (Museo de Oro, Bogotá).
published on 18 May 2013
A gold death mask from a Shaft Grave IV, Grave Circle A, Mycenae, 1600-1500 BCE. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens).
Strings of gold beads in the form of rosettes, papyrus and lillies from Mycenae area (14th century BCE). Nafplio Archaeological Museum.
A string of gold beads (1500-1350 BCE) from Mycenae. Nafplio Archaeological Museum.