Depletion gilding- used by late Bronze Age inhabitants of the Middle Volga

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posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 03:28 PM
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A team has discovered a culture using sophisticated gilding techniques on the Eurasian steppe grasslands of present-day Russia, dating from 1850-1700 B.C. at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age.

These people learned to


covered pendants with a foil no more than one-tenth of a millimeter thick made of an alloy of gold and silver known as electrum. While the overall gold content of the foil is less than silver, through depletion gilding ancient Eurasian metallurgists were able to manipulate the concentration of gold on the outer surface to make the ornaments look like solid gold.


These were people associated with the Srubnaya/Srubna/Srubnik culture. They mined copper and produced metalwork regularly on a small scale even though they were not members of urban civilizations that are more commonly associated with such early technologies










Before these findings, this type of gilding method had only been found before in the Andes and in Mesopotamia


Original Article




posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


That's fascinating Hans,
I wonder how they obtained thier gold, I'd bet they traded horses for some . As far as I know the steppes aren't one of the best gold producing areas. There are certain geological conditions that need for gold to be found and the steppes don't meet them. But mountains that surround the plains would be a place to find gold.
I also wonder what they used as a corrosive agent, salt would have been almost as valuble as gold and most natural acids aren't strong enough, by themselves, maybe a combination of both with a little heat.
I work with tomato processing equipment and certain cooking processes will eat 304-316 ( the most corrosion resistant stainless steel) like they were plain iron in seawater.
What is also fascinating is the fact that the guilding protected the bronze object from further corrosion.
I think the term nomadic, is s misnomer, when though these people moved around, they were not nomads just
wandering aimlessly. Like modern herdsmen they likely made a seasonal circuit of pasture lands and other areas that provided what they needed.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 09:09 PM
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This is VERY interesting. A very intricate process for such a relatively primitive people. This is the kind of thing that brings Maslow into question



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Well if you mean self-actualization other 'primitive' cultures do things that are creative, story telling, making up religions, craftsmanship in less survivalable materials...or you can just move these Srubna up a notch or two.

When you find such creative solutions in a culture one is reminded of Edison or one of the other greats, at some point a very bright person was born into that culture and figured out how to do x and y to get the result that has come down to us.

In a way it is a reflection of something observed in mankind since we became human, the desire to create and if you want to be mean spirited, to cheat. I suspect this craftsman didn't tell his customers the gold object they had was only 'coated'!



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


It is the application of chemical processes that is most amazing. That is a sublime sort of knowledge. Yes, Roman arches are incredible, but they are also more concrete. Gilding is a more abstract skill.

This morning i watched a show on Discovery about indigenous peoples building tree houses. It was amazing how they just pulled raw materials together, ad hoc and in situ, and cobbled together a rather nice, luxurious house that was a hundred or more feet up in a tree top.

Watching them make rope from vines was interesting, but I had seen that sort of thing before. What really wowed me was when the stripped bark from trees, rolled it up, then unrolled it for a sort of carpeting. And their roofing method was highly meticulous. Had they had regular three tab shingles, they could have put them on using the exact same methodology.

WHen their house was done, they all sat back and just took in the sight of the canopy. They all agreed that they lived in paradise.
edit on 14-7-2012 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
reply to post by Hanslune
 


It is the application of chemical processes that is most amazing. That is a sublime sort of knowledge. Yes, Roman arches are incredible, but they are also more concrete. Gilding is a more abstract skill.

This morning i watched a show on Discovery about indigenous peoples building tree houses. It was amazing how they just pulled raw materials together, ad hoc and in situ, and cobbled together a rather nice, luxurious house that was a hundred or more feet up in a tree top.

Watching them make rope from vines was interesting, but I had seen that sort of thing before. What really wowed me was when the stripped bark from trees, rolled it up, then unrolled it for a sort of carpeting. And their roofing method was highly meticulous. Had they had regular three tab shingles, they could have put them on using the exact same methodology.

WHen their house was done, they all sat back and just took in the sight of the canopy. They all agreed that they lived in paradise.
edit on 14-7-2012 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)


I was always impressed with local abilities to make rope bridges and the Vanuatu making bungee jumps using vines.





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