9 May 2004: Most of this page is already fully annotated and illustrated, but at the bottom are 18 ungrokked links -- not all will make the final cut. You may wish to explore them on your own.
Silver (bottom left), Electrum (top right), and Gold (bottom right)
From Time-Life's excellent but long out-of-print series,
The Emergence of Man: The Metalsmiths, 1974, pages 16-17:
"Many of the oldest 'gold' objects...seem to have been made of electrum (upper right), a naturally occurring combination, or alloy, of gold and silver. In many areas silver, which is rarely found pure like gold, was considered the more precious metal."
22 March 2004,
This page begins a new section focused on Earth's mineral wealth -- metals, ores, gems, crystals. From the very beginning these had an aura of magic. Unfortunately, however, the quest for this mineral wealth was usually tragic, which resulted in dark, tangled lore. Those who could work with metals brought forth spectacular works of exquisite art -- but also invincible weaponry, capable of inflicting terrible deaths. Thus, ancient smiths were both feared and revered, not only for their craft but because they had a special bond with those mysterious deities of uncertain loyalty who ruled over the mineral world. Those gods ranged in the Old World from Ptah in Egypt to Hephaestus in Greece to Brigit in Ireland to Ilmarinen in Finland.
Hebrew scriptures assign metallurgy to Cain and his descendants. It was Cain, of course, who slew Abel. Christianity, going a step further, assigned metallurgy to devils -- they alone were thought capable of inspiring the violence of men's weaponry and the vanity of women's jewelry and cosmetics made from ground-up ores. Curiously, given this unsavory pedigree of "evil," it has nevertheless been western Christianity more than any other civilization that has ruthlessly plundered earth's mineral wealth. The search for gold led to the barbarism of colonialism, slavery, and the extermination of countless indigenous peoples. Today's related lust for oil -- "black gold" -- is creating religio-political disasters in the Mid East, an environmental toxicity threatening future generations, and species-wide extinctions on a mind-numbing scale.
Yet our major civilizations trace their roots to arts derived from richly hued rocks, smelted metals, and great slabs of granite, limestone, marble. The ancients adorned sculptures of their deities with inlaid gems and fashioned breathtaking jewelry for their own use. Without earth's minerals, most of our musical instruments would not exist, nor would our theatres, art galleries (many paints come from ground ores), transportation systems, printing presses, computers, and other means of communication. The mineral world has shared itself with us generously and yet we are always greedy for more. We long ago lost any sense of balance in the use of earth's minerals. Even our marriages are marked with diamonds -- often "blood diamonds," torn from Africa's earth by brutal overlords in exchange for fortunes that will allow them to buy arms and slaughter their own peoples.
Perhaps, if we could go back to the beginnings and sense anew the magic, the awe that these minerals once stirred, we might find our way into a more sensible balance. That -- and the sheer wonder of the mineral world -- inspire these pages....
(From Cal Tech -- see directly below)
This technical site is "Colors from metal ions in minerals" from Cal Tech. Here is what the page says about the emerald:http://www.rockhounds.com/rockshop/image_contest_entries.html...Cr3+ causes red and green colors. Cr3+ causes green color in emerald, synthetic orthopyroxene and jadeite. Red color from Cr3+ is seen in synthetic ruby and spinel....The technical data may not appeal to you but this site is unique in that the name of nearly every mineral mentioned can be clicked on for a very well photographed example of it (see directly above).
This is a site chockful of lovely photos of minerals, most of them with names few of us have ever heard of. Each is clickable for a larger version. The page is very slow loading but worth the wait.http://www.min.uni-bremen.de/sgmcol/
This is a long page from Germany, "Smithsonian Gem & Mineral Collection," photos by Dane A. Penland. Data is fairly minimal but the photos are really fine. You'll need to click on them to see enlargements, some of which are quite spectacular. They range from raw gems to famous stones used in jewelry.http://www.bsu.edu/eft/gems/archives.html
These are more gem photos with minimal data, again from the collection at the Smithsonian, but this time the photos are by Chip Clark. Here too, they are clickable and really fine. There are five gem "archives":http://www.dsuper.net/~marcouet/my1.htmBeryl Archives (Emerald, Aquamarine, Heliodore, and Morganite)
Corundum Archives (Ruby and Sapphire)
This is a great rockhound photographic collection of rocks and minerals from Mario Arcouette in France -- what I like about this site is that all the photos I checked show the minerals in their raw form.http://www.dprkorea-trade.com/metals/metals02.htm
This Korean site offers more photos (mostly in ingot form) of gold, silver, bismuth, palladium, platinum, selenium, tellurium, electrolytic Zinc, talc powder, graphite powder, and Granite.http://www.alaska-freegold.com/akpromina/resources.html
This is another page of photos (page one of two) -- these clickable photos are of raw gemstones and minerals, mostly from Alaska.http://neon.mems.cmu.edu/cramb/Processing/history.html
From Carnegie Mellon comes a marvelous essay, "A Short History of Metals," by Alan W. Cramb. Here is how he begins:http://www.museumbor.org.yu/istorije.htmProcess Metallurgy is one of the oldest sciences. Its history can be traced back to 6000 BC. Admittedly, its form at that time was rudimentary, but, to gain a perspective in Process Metallurgy, it is worthwhile to spend a little time studying the initiation of mankind's association with metals. Currently there are 86 known metals. Before the 19th century only 24 of these metals had been discovered and, of these 24 metals, 12 were discovered in the 18th century. Therefore, from the discovery of the first metals - gold and copper until the end of the 17th century, some 7700 years, only 12 metals were known. Four of these metals, arsenic, antimony , zinc and bismuth , were discovered in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, while platinum was discovered in the 16th century. The other seven metals, known as the Metals of Antiquity, were the metals upon which civilisation was based. These seven metals were:Cramb looks at the seven metals of antiquity, one by one -- about iron, for example, he mentions that originally it was worth five times more than gold. He then turns to later discoveries from more recent centuries. This is an excellent survey with a brief but excellent bibliography.
(1) Gold (ca) 6000BC
(2) Copper,(ca) 4200BC
(3) Silver,(ca) 4000BC
(4) Lead, (ca) 3500BC
(5) Tin, (ca) 1750BC
(6) Iron,smelted, (ca) 1500BC
(7) Mercury, (ca) 750BC
These metals were known to the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans. Of the seven metals, five can be found in their native states, e.g., gold, silver, copper, iron (from meteors) and mercury. However, the occurrence of these metals was not abundant and the first two metals to be used widely were gold and copper....
From Cal Tech
This is a Yugoslavian site from the Mining and Metallurgy Museum in Bor (eastern Serbia) that looks at mining in eastern Serbia from pre-historic times to the present. Mining began there in early Neolithic times (c. 4500 BCE) when copper was extracted from malachite and azurite ore. The webpage gives an overview of many centuries, concluding with the sad history of contemporary times:...The work in the mine and melting-works degraded the environment, vegetation and crops in Bor and its surroundings, which led to peasants rebellion in the 1934th, in the 1935th and in the 1936th. The work of today's mine is accompanied by ecological problems as well and that affects life of population in Bor.Given this post-war spurt in growth, one can only wonder what the ecological degradation witnessed in the 1930's is like today.
On the eve of the Second World War, the Germans bought the shares of French Association of Bor Mines off because of strategic significance of metals in the mine, so that, in the beginning of the war, the Germans owned 81,7% of the capital, and the Company Headquarters was moved, in the 1942th, from Paris into Strazburg. The Headquarters was named "Bor - Copper Mines and Melting -Works A.D." (Bor Kupferbergwerke und Hiten Aktiengesellshaft). Production organizing was carried out by Compulsory Work Service and TOT Organization, and by employing prisoners of war, who were lodged in more than thirty working camps and in one penal camp, which were located along the line from Bor to Žagubica, because the Germans, within their plans, had the things like infrastructure construction and connecting Bor with Kostolac and with the Danube.
After the war, owing to mining and metallurgy, this part of Serbia experienced the greatest economic and social development: Equipment and parts; Manufacturing Plant Bor; Construction; Copper Mine Majdanpek Opening; Sulphuric Acid Plant Construction; construction of copper-processing factories, of railway and roads - all of these led to multiplication of Bor's population as well as to Bor's growing up into an administrative, scientific and educational centre.
Internal links will take you to interesting museum exhibits and other information. For a related and well illustrated page from this site on pre-history, see: http://www.museumbor.org.yu/razvoje.htm
Natrolite with calcite from Phillip Island, Victoria
[See directly below]
This Australian site introduces itself as follows:http://www.sis.gov.eg/egyptinf/history/html/scn01.htmResearch topics in the Mineralogy and Petrology Section aim at providing additional knowledge of the geological history of eastern Australia....The topics available look fairly obscure and dull to a non-expert but you'll be amazed by the beauty of the photos accompanying them (see above for "Natrolite").
From an Egyptian government site comes "Ancient Egyptian Science," a great overview, including some excellent passages on metallurgy. The essay with charts and line-drawings is by Prof. Hamed A. Ead (note: his work appears on a number of other sites around the worldwide web -- many plagiarize without giving him credit). In his section on metallurgy, he writes:http://www.antiquityofman.com/AE_glass.html...Metallurgy in particular was carried on with an elaborate technique and a business organization not unworthy of the modern world, while the systematic exploitation of mines was an important industry employing many thousands of workers. Even as early as 3400 B.C., at the beginning of the historical period, the Egyptians had an intimate knowledge of copper ores and of processes of extracting the metal. During the fourth and subsequent dynasties (i.e. from about 2900 B.C. onwards), metals seem to have been entirely monopolies of the Court, the management of the mines and quarries being entrusted to the highest officials and sometimes even to the sons of the Pharaoh.About iron, he -- like many other scholars -- traces its first appearance to meteorites:
Whether these exalted personages were themselves professional metallurgists we do not know, but we may at least surmise that the details of metallurgical practice, being of extreme importance to the Crown, were carefully guarded from the vulgar. And when we remember the close association between the Egyptian royal family and the priestly class we appreciate the probable truth of the tradition that chemistry first came to light in the laboratories of Egyptian priests.......The Egyptians called iron 'the metal of heaven' or ba-en-pet, which indicates that the first specimen employed were of meteoric origin; the Babylonian name having the same meaning. It was no doubt on account of its rarity that iron was prized so highly by the early Egyptians, while its celestial source would have its fascination. Strange to say, it was not used for decorative, religious or symbolical purposes, which - coupled with the fact that it rusts so readily - may explain why comparatively few iron objects of early dynastic age have been discovered....About gold, the ancient Egyptians distinguished between mined and panned gold. Panning for gold even involved an Egyptian version of the "golden fleece":...Alluvial auriferous sand was also treated, a distinction being made between the gold obtained in this way and that extracted from the mines. The latter was called nub-en-set, i.e. gold of the mountain, while alluvial gold was named nub-en-mu, i.e. 'gold of the river'. Auriferous sand was placed in a bag made of a fleece with the woolly side inwards; water was then added and the bag vigorously shaken by two men. When the water was poured off, the earthy particles were carried away, leaving the heavier particles of gold adhering to the fleece....It is quite an interesting article and well worth your time.
This is "The chemical composition of glass in Ancient Egypt" by Mikey Brass. At first glance, glass and metallurgy would seem to have little in common. In fact, however, the two come from similar processes involving very hot furnaces. Glass often mimics minerals (e.g., turquoise) and is also frequently colored by metals. Originally, glass even seem to have been a by-product of metal-working -- a glassy-like slag over from "metallurgical processes." Brass writes:http://www.ciks.org/metall.html...Glass in the ancient world was manufactured by melting a combination of an alkali (potash or soda) and silica (raw materials such as quartz cobbles and sand). The interaction of the heated soda and the hot sand would have formed a transparent flowing liquid that the ancients then permitted to cool to form glass (Freestone 1991). It was the ancient production of metallurgy and faience that are currently believed to have resulted in the later manufacture of glass. The Bronze Age of the Mediterranean was synonymous with vast quantities of differential metallurgical processes. The slag by-product of such workings was a glassy-like material. The ancient beads that have been analysed shown to be composed of a high percentage of such by-products back up this hypothesis. Faience consists predominantly of crushed quartz and finished off with an alkaline glaze into a ceramic body (Freestone 1991)....The article is quite technical, carefully footnoted, and also quite readable.
"Detail of the iron pillar at Delhi. Its rust-free surface is evidence of the superior quality of traditional technology. Iron beams used in the temples of Konark and Puni in coastal Orissa are further examples of the rust free nature of traditional Indian iron." [Caption from site directly below]
This is "The Need to Revive a Lost Science," a very brief but intriguing page from India about a little-known, rust-free, iron-making technology dating back 2000 years:http://www.ciks.org/methist.html...The anti-corrosive properties shown by the iron pillars in New Delhi and Kollur in Karnataka are pointers to the modern day relevance of these ancient techniques. These pillars have stood unrusted for hundreds of years, despite being exposed to all kinds of climatic conditions. If we could understand and apply these techniques in metallurgy today, enormous amounts of money lost due to the corrosion of metal could be saved.
Unfortunately, the number of practitioners in this field has dwindled to the extent of being negligible. It is indeed sad that South India, which boasted such a great tradition in metallurgy, contributes very little of India's iron and steel production today....
"The amazing metal mirror of Aranmula. Its highly polished and reflective surface acts as a high quality and distortion free mirror that equals any of today's glass mirrors." [Caption from site directly below]
This page from the same site as the above link is "Glimpses into the History of Traditional Indian Metallurgy." Here is an excerpt:http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/sarasvati/html/tradehistory1.htmAbundant evidence available suggests that the ancient Indians were highly skilled in manufacturing and working with iron and in making and tempering steel. The analysis of zinc alloys like brass, from archaeological excavations, testify that the zinc distillation process was known in India as early as 150 B.C. Indian steel, famous worldwide, is mentioned in history books which tell us that when Alexander invaded India, Porus, otherwise known as Purushottam, presented him with thirty pounds of steel, thus indicating its high value.
South India was a region that was renowned for metallurgy and metalwork in the old days. In Karnataka, fine steel wires were being produced for use as strings in musical instruments, at a time when the western world was using animal gut for the same purpose. Kerala, besides its large iron smelting furnaces, boasted of special processes such as the metal mirror of Aranmula....
This is "Trade among ancient bronze-age civilizations: Sarasvati-Sindhu, Mesopotamia and Persia." The page is exceedingly slow-loading, text is minimal, graphics are small, usually not clickable, and usually not well photographed, some maps (clickable) are great, others less so. Yet for those who know what they're looking for, this site on trade between the Near East and India, at a time when India's long-vanished, near-mythic Sarasvati River was still flowing, is quite fascinating. Since the goddess Sarasvati took over many of the attributes of the Voice-goddess, Vak, a favorite of mine, I take a personal interest in sites like this. I have long known of trade routes between these ancient cultures but until I found this site, I had not known that metallurgy played such an important role. Here is an excerpt:http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/sarasvati/sitemap1.htm...[India's major rivers] facilitated trade between Sumer and the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilizations, ca. 2500 B.C. from over 1600 ancient sites on the Sarasvati and Sindhu rivers. The major sites many of which have yielded the script inscriptions are depicted on the map. (Note the clustering of sites near the Rann of Kutch and on the central zone of the Sarasvati river, close to the ancient Khetri copper mines in Rajasthan.) One sea trade route was from the Tigris-Euphrates rivers through the Persian gulf to the sites on the Sarasvati-Sindhu rivers....Intrigued by the above link, I started peeling back the URL to reach the home page....see directly below:
Indus Valley necklace of golden discs
Discular beads of gold with axial perforation,
Mature Harappan, Lothal
This is the home page of the above site -- the major focus is on the Indus Valley civilization near the ancient Sarasvati River. Metallurgy played a crucial role since the area was rich in ores and metallurgical skills. FYI: the argument advanced on several of the pages that soma was actually electrum, a mixture of gold and silver, seems to me quite far-fetched and puzzling (soma is usually considered to be a mixture of herbs and fermented honey, or even more likely, a drink made from the "sacred mushroom" -- one drinks it, which rules out electrum, even in molten form). But all the data grounded in metallurgy, not mythology, seems solid and reliable.http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/sarasvati/html/mesop2.htm
This is a link listed on the above home page. It looks at who imported metals from whom and where. When we go to museums and stare at wonderful artifacts of gold and silver from Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and other vanished civilizations, few of us wonder where those metals came from. The answers involve careful detective work and are quite interesting. Here's an introductory excerpt:http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/sarasvati/html/minerals_and_metals.htm...Pliny described electrum as an alloy of gold and silver with one part of silver to four of gold. Normally, in mineralogy, argentiferous gold containing 20-25 per cent of silver is referred to as electrum. "Many of the rare analyses of Mesopotamian 'gold' show that it is in fact electrum, but whether a natural or a deliberate alloy is not invariably clear... Silver may only be separated from gold by a complicated process; but base metals may be slagged off by repeated meltings of native gold in an oxidizing atmosphere, routine in many goldsmithing techniques. Natural electrum can have a susbtantial copper content..."There is much more here -- it is a lengthy, fairly technical essay but if the origins of the raw materials of ancient art interest you, you'll enjoy this one.
Finally, and again from the Sarasvati home page, this is a site that looks at the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age in Indus Valley cultures. A long list of cities and regions details their metal wares and techniques. About local furnaces:...The smelter furnace was a small, crucible-shaped, clay-walled, slag-tapping device worked on forced draught from bellows; 'this simple furnace appears to have been continuously used in India over the millennia without little innovation.' It would appear that the facilities in the metropolis of the civilization on the banks of Sarasvati and Sindhu were only purification and fabrication facilities with limited or no smelting operations. Bun-shaped copper ingots from Ganeshwar taken through the riverine routes were perhaps carried by itinerant metal-smiths of the copper-hoard culture and fabricated in cities like Mohenjodaro and Harappa to meet the specifications of the consumers of this doab or the Tigris-Euphrates doab....
This is "Traditions of Magic in Ancient Antiquity: Protective Magic -- Amulets and Gems," a marvelous collection of metals and gems from the Kelsey Museum at the University of Michigan. About the above haematite amulet:http://www.cedarseed.com/air/gemstones.html...Ouroboros enclosing uterine symbol, with Khnoum, the ram-headed god touching the knob of the key. Above, Isis and Nephthys flanking Anubis and an unidentified figure (the patient?)....Many of the objects (photos are clickable) include ancient spells and other data (also see below).
...A uterine amulet, meant to control contraception and childbirth by "opening" and "closing" the womb with its special "key."
Solomon slaying a female-demon
Haematite amulet purchased in Egypt
From the Kelsey Museum's text:"Rider-amulets such as this one were popular, possibly among Jews and certainly among Christians as all-purpose protective devices. The imagery -- a mounted warrior subduing a prostrate enemy -- is common enough in many cultures, and its adoption as a symbol in the fight against demons is readily understandable. On this amulet, as on many others, the rider is identified as Solomon, the wise biblical king whom post-biblical traditions turned into an expert in all occult sciences, and especially the subjugation of demons. Thus, Jews and Christians alike invoked Solomon's name in exorcism rituals, and told stories of the wonderful seal with which he "muzzled" and "sealed" every evil spirit. On this amulet the key, like God's seal, symbolizes the power to shut the demons in and prevent them from doing any harm."Personally, I find the Kelsey Museum's fascinating series of amulets depicting Solomon slaying female-demons a peculiar demonstration of the ingratitude of patriarchal religious leaders, whether pagan, Jewish, or Christian. They ruthlessly mine Mother Earth for her mineral wealth and then turn around and make her the demon.
This is "Gemstones in Folklore" by Joumana Medlej, an attractive little site with small but useful photos of many gems accompanied by interesting data on etymology and cross-cultural lore for each gem. Here are the gems included: Agate, Amber, Amethyst, Adventurine, Beryl, Carnelian, Coral, Chrysolite, Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Hematite, Hyacinth, Jade, Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Pearl, Peridot, Rock Crystal, Ruby, and Sapphire.http://www.earthsky.org/teachers/articles/articles.php?id=4
Bibliographic sources for photos and data are noted at the bottom.
From the teachers' section of the Earth & Sky radio series comes an excellent, well-researched series of pages on birthstones by Marc Airhart, Deborah Byrd, and Shireen Gonzaga. The above link is to the Introduction page:http://www.galleries.com/minerals/hardness.htm...The first association of a special gem with each month was recorded in the Bible, in Exodus 28 and 39. An original breastplate of the High Priest of the Hebrews was said to be made by Moses in 1250 BC, according to instructions he received during 40 days in the mountains. The twelve gems in the breastplate were later linked with the signs of the zodiac, and later still associated with the months in the year....The page also looks at definitions of terms in a clear and useful manner:...Unless you're a geologist, the terminology of birthstones may be a bit confusing. So here's a quick primer....
...What's the difference between rocks, minerals, and gems? A mineral is made of inorganic materials (substances that were never alive), whose atoms are arranged in a regular pattern, or crystal. Rocks are made up of one or more minerals. Most people also include clay, sand and limestones in the rock category.
Gems are a special subgroup of highly prized minerals. Gems are usually clearer, rarer, and more beautiful than other minerals. Color, luster and hardness are also important qualities that can set gems apart from other minerals. But there's no hard and fast rule as to which minerals cut it as gems and which don't. It's mostly a matter of custom....
[Added May 3, 2010]: For more on hardness, this is a very useful and informative site.
Detail of ancient bronze amulet purchased in Syria
The Kelsey Museum's brief description:
"Rider with nimbus spearing a lioness with a human, female face.
An angel with nimbus blesses the rider with his raised wing."Here, to really emphasize how "good" the hero is in contrast to how "evil" the victim is, he gets a halo PLUS an angel (much as Perseus gets the blessing of Athena and Hermes as he slays Medusa). She is not only female, loathsome enough in that alone, but is further demonized as a non-human monster -- i.e., a lioness with a distorted female face.************** [5/8/04 Note to me: see if you can find an online link to Rabbi Schulweis' wonderful comments on lion, "evil inclination" & "good inclination")
...This is a technical site looking at various minerals found in Mexico. I'm putting it in the Mythology section however, because what most intrigues me is the unique way in which the page opens -- until I saw this, I hadn't known of any minerals that were named for deities, just that many deities are closely associated with specific minerals:Menu of Common Themes, East & West:Quetzalcoatlite is a very rare and an unusual mineral from Mexico. The bright blue translucent mineral is named for the Aztec God: Quetzalcoatl (which means "Feathered Serpent"). Another Mexican mineral named for a God is tlalocite which is named for the Aztec Rain God: Tlaloc. Some other minerals named for gods include aegirine, after Aegir (the Scandinavian god of the sea) and neptunite, after Neptune (the Roman god of the sea)....Note: the page has no photo of this rare mineral so I googled for one. The only one on the web seems to be the above "thumbnail" from a now dead Australian page.
Amulet to ward off hip pains:
Reaper cutting grain -- he's working in front of a small tree while a snake lies below him.
Haematite, purchased in Syria
(Undated)Text from the Kelsey Museum: "An amulet against hip pains (sciatica). The reaper imagery must have been chosen for this well-attested type of amulet because of the agricultural laborer's perceived immunity to hip- and back-ache."
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Text and Design:
Copyright © 2004-2010 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
All rights reserved except where noted.
Page designed & begun 22 March 2004, 12:30am
8 May2004: decided to launch this as a work-in-progress --
added Quetzalcoatlite image & link plus more Kelsey Museum amulets w/text;
minimally sorted through the ungrokked ones.
9 February 2010: started working on the long-forgotten Gold page last night from midnight-5am. Did I break it off from this page 4 April 2004? There's no notation here but the timing is an obvious fit (i.e., it was a way to lighten up this page since it already had far too many links). In checking the other 4 Minerals pages, I now see that everything actually began on 20 March 2004 with Malachite, which then would have been the catalyst for creating a general Minerals page or there would have been no category in which to place Malachite. Two days later, I began this Minerals page. Two weeks later, on 4 April 2004, I transferred all links & art for Gold and Diamonds to their own new, individual pages, dating both of them 4/4/2004. I must have done the same for Copper on that same date but I didn't note anything except the copied/pasted data from Minerals (on the other hand, I have a vague memory that I already knew 3/22/04 that I wanted Copper to have its own page & thus I may have created identical templates for Minerals & Copper within moments of each other -- wouldn't be the first time I've done something like that; besides, copper, due to Serabit el-Khadim, Timna, and my 2nd Moses novel, has a very special claim on me; gold & diamonds do not -- on 3/22/04, I would never have singled them out for future pages of their own). Copper, like Gold, was never finished -- I should never have given them live links on my Home page! I also entirely forgot that this Minerals page still has a ton of ungrokked, fabulous smith-links. Must get back to them -- amazing how perfectly they fit into my current work on Rumpelstilskin/Volund (Part II) -- had no idea I'd already found so many -- almost spooky! Updates: added Vak link & corrected a "was" to "were" in opening essay.
14 February 2010: shifted image of "Quartz containing gold ore" to Gold page, where it's more relevant.
May 3, 2010: added site on "hardness" because it's an issue in the Met's comments on Ptah/lapis lazuli on my new lapis page. I feel the link should be on this general page as well.
Ancient Chinese bells -- fascinating data.http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/arch/metallurgy.html
Ancient metallurgy -- looks like a good surveyhttp://www.tmm.utexas.edu/npl/mineralogy/Lore_and_Mythology/
"Mineral Lore & Mythology" from the U. of Texas -- a good survey but more history than myth.http://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/archsci/depart/resgrp/amrg/amrginfo.htm
Ancient Metallurgy Research Group in the UK -- info on medieval tin mining in Cornwall, Roman iron, misc. dissertation topics, etc.http://teamwork.ucdavis.edu/~gel115/115CH9.html
"In Praise of Smiths" is an intriguing look at the history of "Smith" last names across Europe.
"The Sun at Midnight - Metalworking and the Sacred Smith" by Liam Rogers. A carefully footnoted, unillustrated essay on myth. Kalevala, etc. Looks quite good.http://www.monbiot.com/dsp_article.cfm?article_id=59
"Smith and the Devil" by George Monbiot, an essay published in Country Living Magazine that asks: "Why are the same myths associated with blacksmiths all over the world?"http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1586635271/104-7888379-3528730?v=glance&vi=customer-reviews
Metallurgy & Tolkien's Ring.http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/bof/bof09.htm
A "smarmy" beginning but then this long essay gets down to business and explores some great lore on elves and dwarfs as smiths of magical swords & other items..http://swordforum.com/forge/roadtodamascus.html
From Sword Forum Magazine: "The Road to Damascus: Sorting Modern Pattern Welding from Myth and Legend" by Kevin R. Cashen, American Bladesmith Society (ABS) certified Master Bladesmith. [Looks as if it could equally belong to the history/science section.]http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A619788
"The Secret Art of Alchemy" from the BBC -- long essay -- looks good.http://www.ststp.com/Archives/Scandinavian/Folklore/
A list of misc. topics from Scandinavian folklore. I did a search for "metal" & found an ok-entry under "Witchcraft." Try searches for specific metals & decide if the link is worth keeping. [Save link for Scandinavian pages too.]http://www.danann.org/library/myth/gobhniu.html
This is Willow Ragan's well researched "Legend of Gobhniu," the Celtic smith-god. It comes in 3 linked pages.http://www.gotmus.i.se/1engelska/skatter/engelska/the_objects_tell_story.htm
Part of a great series of pages on dragon's gold, hoards from various periods, jewelry, etc.http://www.connexions.co.uk/culture/html/folklore.htm
"Myths & Legends of Cornwall" -- includes supernatural miners.http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/tfm/tfm081.htm
German "Changeling" lore -- do a search for "smith" -- it looks as if there might be some good material. If not, save link for Fairytale/Folklore page.
MISC. from 8 May 2004:
5/8/04: unable to get through