Hunting South American Gold

Gold has always captured the imagination of mankind.  Long before it acquired any monetary value and became a source of greed, gold was valued for its spiritual connotation. By 2000 BC the Muisca people in South America had forged gold and created beautiful, intricate golden votives, but why were they seemingly discarded in lakes?  To the Muisca gold represented the sun or male god characteristics while water and the moon were symbols of the goddess and by casting male gold votives into receptive female water, a sacred religious rite was completed. Historian Ashley Cowie is on an expedition to replicate ancient South American gold forging. 

Clovis spear points from the Rummells-Maske Cache Site, Cedar County, Iowa. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Early Inhabitants

Archeologists and anthropologists once agreed that the indigenous peoples of the Americas were Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherers who, about 13,500 years ago, migrated from eastern Asia across the Bering land-bridge to present-day Alaska. Known as the Clovis First Theory, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology (2003) states that it is named after the discovery of a set of “distinctive handmade stone tools found alongside Pleistocene fauna near Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1920s and 1930s.”


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