The Gold of the World (English language edition)
Slipcased, silk-bound hardback. 486 colour ill'ns. Distributed by University of Exeter Press.
From the author’s Prologue:
‘This book attempts to trace the course taken by gold in the company of man. And endeavour of this kind does not try to exhaust the evidence, it simply touches on matters, describes them with a few words and leaves the reader to dream of the Conquistadors of Columbus, the gold-diggers of California, the moneychangers of Istanbul in Kapali Çarşi, of Peshawar in Sarapha Bazaar, to dream of the brokers of Wall Street the day of the great crash in 1929, and the miners of the Transvaal the day they found the huge nugget of gold weighing 70 kilos.’
‘In recent years, many books devoted to gold have seen the light of day. But they do not deal with gold as a precious metal, a material used by many peoples, from antiquity to modern time, as the raw material from which to make jewellery and other valuable objects.
‘None of these books has produced any insight, whether literary or purely aesthetic, to illuminate the relationship that evolved between gold and the daily adventures of people who dream of an easy life fill of gold coins, impressive jewellery and dresses embroidered with shimmering golden thread.
The Gold of the World traces the course followed by man through the world and through the centuries in his quest for gold. It begins with man's first acquaintance with the precious metal and continues with his search to locate it and the techniques and methods by which he worked it. It is a chronicle that examines man's relations with gold through myth, art, religion, the economy and everyday life. Almost 500 colour illustrations cover every period of human history, from prehistory to the major ancient civilizations and from the America of Conquistadores to the Europe of the great artists.
A simple definition
Gold in nature and in the hands of man
Gold as symbol and myth
MAN AND METALS
Metals and surplus
MAN AND GOLD
The first acquaintance
The goldsmith's techniques
GOLD AND THE DEAD
GEORGE CH. CHOURMOUZIADIS was an archaeologist and Professor Emeritus of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He led excavations in many prehistoric settlements in Thessaly and Macedonia and started the excavation of the Neolithic lakeside settlement of Dispilio in Kastoria, North-western Greece. He died in Thessaloniki in 2013.
486 color illus.