Gifts and Myths of the Magi

Best wishes to you and your loved ones for happy holidays! This is my final post for 2021 – I’ll begin publishing again in January 2022. In this post, I describe a few details about the story of the Three Magi and the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh they brought to the baby Jesus. Historians and biblical scholars have recorded many stories and traditions related to the Magi and their gifts, often reflected in the artwork of the time.

By |2021-12-16T09:50:47-07:00December 16th, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|5 Comments

Machu Picchu and Mysterious “Gold” Mortar

Machu Picchu is truly one of the wonders of the world. The spectacular ridge-top site of this city and the fine masonry of royal Inca buildings are stunning aesthetic and technical accomplishments. Early Spanish chroniclers reported "molten gold" was used as mortar during stone block construction, and a research paper by a chemist presents some intriguing insights.

By |2021-07-12T17:18:51-07:00July 8th, 2021|Ancient Andean Cultures|2 Comments

Ancient Metals and Ancient Mines – Part 1

Rich deposits of metals, created by the dynamic geologic environment that built the rugged Andes Mountains, became intertwined with Andean cultures in the New World. The Incas and their ancestors created metal products primarily for aesthetic uses and for religious goods. This contrasts with Old World cultures, where the emphasis was on the mechanical properties of metals -- strength, hardness and sharpness—for tools and weapons.

Fangs and Claws of Gold — Supernatural Creatures in Ancient Chavín Art

An eagle image covered with multiple fangs and claws -- a creature with a swirl of serpents replacing the fur –– a scowling half human/half beast figure on a crown – all meticulously crafted from hammered sheets of gold. These objects are among the many exquisite pieces of art crafted by the Chavín...

By |2020-04-23T13:17:29-07:00April 23rd, 2020|Ancient Andean Cultures|6 Comments
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