Gold is one of the first metals to be processed by humans.
With its striking bright yellow color, it was dignified, so as an element found in nature, could work very well mechanically and not corroded. Because of the durability of its splendor, its rarity and severity of incident, it was very popular and has been used in many cultures, especially for ritual objects.
The gold recovery probably began in the Bronze Age. The lightweight alloyed with many metals, the melting temperatures moderate and the favorable properties of the alloys made ??gold as a material very attractive.
In 4500 BC, the dates in the Bulgarian Varna 1972 discovered gold finds. In Central Europe can be detected gold objects from the second millennium BC. Famous examples are the gold in the golden hat Schifferstadt and in the sky disc of Nebra.
The Egyptians exploited deposits in Upper Egypt and Nubia. The Romans used sites in Asia Minor, Spain, Romania and Germany.
The earliest documentation represents the vast seafaring Greek Argonauts to Colchis for Golden Fleece dar.
In the Torah of the golden calf is told that produced the Israelites as idol while Moses received the Ten Commandments, and the gold land of Ophir. The New Testament mentions gold (in addition frankincense and myrrh) as an homage to the gifts of the Magi from the East to the newborn Jesus (see Matthew's Gospel, chapter 2, verse 11).
Also in South America and Mesoamerica was processed very early gold. For example, the Moche dominated Peru in the early first millennium, the alloy formation (Tumbago) and the gilding and produced objects for ritual purposes from several kilograms of gold.
The greed for gold was also the reason for wars, looting and conquest. Gold discoveries in Central and South America attracted by the journeys of Christopher Columbus, European and especially Spanish explorers, the gold galleons brought in to Europe. Spain has been a while for the richest nation in Europe, but the indigenous cultures were destroyed.
Again and again attracted large crowds of adventurers finds gold at. In the 19th Century, it came on different continents to Gold Rush-called mass movements in the areas of major gold deposits, examples are the Californian gold rush in 1849 and the Gold Rush of 1897 on the Klondike River in Alaska. Even in Australia (Bathurst, Temora, Teetulpa and Coolgardie) and South Africa (Witwatersrand), there was the gold rush. Hardly any of the gold seekers, however, was rich by mining gold mining or gold panning.
Even today, the fluctuating price of gold often leads to social turmoil: How does a falling gold price in South Africa to a strong depletion of the population living part of the gold production. In the Brazilian Amazon region, the informal gold mining by garimpeiros is often associated with serious social and ecological consequences.
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