The History of Gold Mining
Gold has been an extremely valuable substance to many societies throughout history. The history of gold mining therefore coincides with the history of civilization itself. Mining gold was an economically significant activity to the some of the earliest major civilizations in human history. Gold artifacts have been found in the Balkans which date all the way back to the 4th millenium BC. In addition, Ancient Egyptian heiroglyphics dating from 2600 BC mention the mining and production of gold. Ancient Egypt and Nubia were major ancient hubs of mining for gold. Gold mining was wide spread in the ancient world, and gold is mentioned in the Old Testament as well as in the ancient mythologies of different cultures all over the Near East.
The history of gold mining becomes even more interesting with the technological advances of the Romans. The Romans pioneered new methods of large-scale gold extraction, and introduced hydraulic mining methods to extract large deposits of gold in the province of Hispania, in modern Spain. The Mali Empire in Africa, most famously known for its capital at Timbuktu, also exploited its large resources of gold for economic dominance in North-Western Africa. Later on, European exploration in the Americas was fueled was by the rumors of massive amounts of gold held by the Aztecs and the Incas.
The price of gold has always been high, and those who held large amounts of the mineral were able to use their wealth to assert dominance over others throughout history. In modern times, various gold rushes have caused frenzied settlers to move to areas where there are rumors of gold deposits. A famous example of this is the great California gold rush in the United States in the 19th century. Because gold is such a valuable material, most of the gold which has been mined throughout the ages is still in circulation to this very day.