A gold cup such as this may lie among the thousands of priceless items thought to make up the mythical lost Inca gold. Join the exhausting up-and-down expedition to the ruins of Cerro Victoria, an Inca outpost that could have been settled by an even earlier culture. Journey to Peru's ancient Inca ruins and see the influence of the past on the people who live there.
This gold-and-glass pectoral amulet was discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun near Luxor, Egypt. The ancient past comes to life in this screensaver gallery featuring Egyptian ruins, Maya relics, and views of Machu Picchu, Stonehenge, and the Great Wall of China.
Priceless artifacts, Nazi thefts, and Spanish shipwrecks are just the beginning in this online video series about the international debate over who owns the world's treasures.
A golden horse heada€”an ornament from one end of a long-gone iron horse bita€”is part of a 2,400-year-old treasure recently discovered in an ancient Thracian tomb in Sveshtari, Bulgaria, archaeologists announced Thursday.The Thracians were ruled by a warrior aristocracy that had access to plentiful gold deposits at the mouth of the Danube River, which contained one of the largest ancient supplies of the metal.
Unlike some of the other newfound treasures, this golden ring or brooch looks like it was influenced by art of the ancient Greeks, with whom the Thracians traded.It's also possible that this object was a decorative fastener for a horse's covering, Hiebert said.
Adorned with lions and fantasy animals, this newfound Thracian jewelrya€”said to be a tiara or necklacea€”"looks pretty awesome," Hiebert said. A Uyghur child in the Urumqi bazar – children are most impacted by mercury pollution. Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASM) continues to be a major user of metallic mercury worldwide. Cranes jammed the skyline while high-rise construction workers acrobatically assembled scaffolding by hand to install stories at breakneck speed. We would soon learn that no Americans involved with mining had ever been granted entry to the Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. Yili is where we went to introduce Cleangold, a toxin-free fine gold mining technology invented by US scientist David Plath. With funding from National Geographic, our NGO Artminers came to show miners how to reduce environmental threats to the watershed habitat of the endangered Snow Leopard. At the Institute in Urumqi, in preparation for our field work, we soon discovered that we wouldn’t be doing our usual work with artisanal or small scale gold miners dependent on mercury. Oregon, our home state, shares the same latitude as Yili, with similar agriculture and natural resources, but that’s where any similarities end.
The Axi mine was a ten-hour drive from Urumqi over the jagged face of the Tian Shan mountains, which dropped into a lush, Central Asian wonderland.
The mountain highway was modern, and our driver attacked it with his SUV like an avatar in a video game without real lives at stake, recklessly spinning out his back wheels on hairpin turns in the wake of mini landslides while our guides napped in the back. On our descent, soft, green hills embraced us as Kazakh cowboys tended cattle, farmers worked the fields, and, as it was late August, harvest was in full swing—melons, grapes, nuts, raisins, and honey–it was a good time to visit. When we finally arrived at the Axi mine, after a quick cup of tea and questions from the director, we were led to their lab, where buckets of tailings from various processes were offered with their young techs in attendance. This is where we always start with Cleangold—on the tailings (refuse ore after all possible gold has been recovered).
One of the techs who studied in the US and could speak a little English invited us to spend the night at their guest quarters, to run more experiments and to take a formal tour of the mine the next day. We weren’t allowed to shoot photos at the mine, but suffice it to say it was a town-sized hole in the ground with all the modern processing facilities typically attached with same.
Back at the Institute’s lab in Urumqi, David ran bench extractions on the shipped samples and enjoyed full access to sophisticated crushers, microscopes with digital cameras, grad students and assayers. As we shared results with our partners, more mine directors were sent in for demonstrations, and all seemed impressed with our results.
Around the world it’s widely perceived that the Chinese care more about industry than the environment. In the past couple of years, some in the artisanal and small scale gold mining community have suggested introducing cyanide to small miners as an alternative to mercury since it decomposes in sunlight and does not bioaccumulate in the environment like mercury. National Geographic VoicesResearchers, conservationists, and others around the world share stories and commentary on the National Geographic Society's conversation platform Voices. Society Field Inspection 2016: Gulf of CaliforniaDescribed by Jacques Cousteau as the "aquarium of the world," the Gulf of California in Mexico is threatened by coastal development, climate change, and other human activities. Support National GeographicWe've supported more than 11,000 grants to scientists and others in the field.Learn more about our work.
Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and team have named Homo naledi.

With at least 15 individuals of all ages and both sexes represented, the find adds an unprecedented amount of information to our understanding of early human evolution in Africa.
In addition, the absence of any other animal remains or large debris in the fossil chamber strongly suggests that these non-human beings intentionally deposited their dead within this cave. BANABA ISLAND, Kiribati—Asbestos dust covers the floors of Banaba’s crumbling colonial houses, buildings, and schools. A goldsmith smelts bars of donated gold for use in the famed Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma). To delete this file, click the file name with your mouse, then right-click and scroll down the menu to the "delete" option. To remove the photo permanently from the desktop, locate the photo on the hard drive and drag it to the trash. Two newfound "emergency hoards" from Israela€”gold jewelry and coinsa€”may have been hidden by ancient families fleeing unknown dangers. Though separated by a thousand years, two newfound "emergency hoards" from Israela€”including gold jewelry and coinsa€”may have been hidden by ancient families fleeing unknown dangers, archaeologists say.
Revealed late last month, these 3,000-year-old rings (foreground) and earrings, from the older hoard, were found in a ceramic jug among the ruins of a house. The valuables likely belonged to wealthy Canaanitesa€”a Semitic people who inhabited ancient Palestine and Phoenicia beginning about 5,000 years agoa€”according to Tel Aviv University archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, who led the excavation. When excavating in the Megiddo region, "usually you get the sort of common earrings we also see in this same hoard"a€”simple crescent designs.
Spanning the eastern Mediterranean and parts inland, the Levant comprises Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and other Mideast areas. The 3,000-year-old trove was found near a site that's yielded hundreds of finely carved ivory artifacts.
These fractured ceramic fragments concealed the Megiddo treasure hoard for some 3,000 years. Carnelian beads found with the Iron Age treasure trove match Egyptian designs of the period and may even have been imported from Egypt. Long made legendary by biblical tales of an apocalyptic battle between good and evil, Megiddo is now a quiet spot where excavators are painstakingly wresting the city's history from stone and sediment.
On June 5 archaeologist Emil Aladjem holds one of four rare Roman-era coins found near the city of Qiryat Gat (map)a€”part of the second recent gold find from Israel.
Pure gold, this 2,000-year-old, flower-shaped earring was owned by a person of significant wealth, Aladjem said. Found outside a building dating to the Roman and Byzantine era, the jewelry had long ago been wrapped in cloth with other valuables and buried for safekeeping. This Roman-era ring, also part of the Kiryat Gat trove, would have been used as a stamp, perhaps for wax seals, leaving behind a robed woman.
In addition to four gold coins dating to the era of Roman emperor Trajana€”rare finds for the Mideasta€”the 2,000-year-old hoard (pictured) included some 140 silver coins.
The hoard also contained some non-obvious items which confirm that its primary purpose was simply to hide the most valuable things in the household as danger approached. NASA's Opportunity rover captured the incredible picture by chance after clambering up a steep ridge. Ken hopes to start off his season on the right foot by making a big payday on his first gold sell. Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites.
This fabled treasure, part of an exorbitant ransom for the imprisoned Inca leader Atahualpa, was supposedly hidden in the 16th century when the Inca learned Atahualpa had already been put to death by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. It depicts the familiar eye of Horus, a symbol of protection from evil, flanked by the cobra goddess representing Lower Egypt and the vulture goddess representing Upper Egypt. But archaeologists are increasingly confronted with demands to let past generations rest in peace. During the past six months the National Geographic Air and Water Fund for China has supported an applied research project with Dr. Our work has taken us to remote places, but we’d never stopped people on the street in open-mouthed shock at seeing our Western features. With a population of 3.2 million, its center is like Times Square on steroids with upscale malls, minarets, baijiu and bazaars. We drove along miles upon miles of turbines on the way to a Buddhist version of Machu Picchu at Turpan (video link to come).

Instead, we would be visiting a modern, state-run gold mine, which was already using every state-of-the-art technology available—from centrifuges and flotation cells, to bacterial processes and cyanide. At the summit, when we pulled over for a break, I was stunned by all the trash the previous tourists had left behind. We had to leave immediately for our designated hotel three hours away or we’d all be in big trouble.
Apart from a trip to an ore-crushing operation to collect magnetite required for the Cleangold process, our field work was completed.
Under the microscope, David discovered coatings on the micron gold he recovered which likely interfered with the cyanide recovery.
David estimated the return on investment at Axi for a scaled-up system was less than a week. Assay results on the sample recovered by Cleangold revealed 790 grams of gold per ton.
Posters and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service. To learn firsthand what's going on in and around this marine treasure of global importance, the National Geographic Society sent its top scientists and officials to the region in January 2016.
The 2,500-year-old shrine is said to house several strands of the Buddha's hair, among other sacred relics.
Though unearthed in 2010, the vessel concealed its cargo until late last year, when scientists began molecular analysis of the contents. That century saw the end of Egyptian rule in the region, and the hoard might have been left behind in the Egyptian withdrawal, Finkelstein guessed. The 2,000-year-old treasure hoard was stashed during the era of the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (A.D. Still corroded, they'll eventually be cleaned to match the luster of the restored gold coins. Based on similar finds from other Roman sites, including Pompeii, Aladjem thinks the spoons are either makeup applicators or surgical implements. You can remove any cookies already stored on your computer, but these may prevent you from using parts of our website. Lanhai Li based at the Xinjiang Institute of Geography and Ecology (a Chinese Academy of Sciences institute) to test a novel technique to extract gold without using mercury. Here, everyone has smart phones, texts incessantly and wifi is everywhere, but people still wash clothes by hand. However, communities impacted by mining are at the bottom of the supply chain, including the wildlife. We arranged for more concentrates to be shipped to the lab in Urumqi, then we tore out of there. Returning home, we were heartened to learn that lab results had provided positive feedback from the miners. They toured the desert islands off the southeastern coast of the Baja Peninsula and they listened to presentations by more than a dozen experts, including several whose Baja California research is funded by the Society. In this article, the eco-entrepreneur Kristina Shafer shares her experiences of the field visit to Xinjiang to test the technique at a gold mine near the capital Urumqi.
Cleangold had never gone up against cyanide before, widely regarded as the ultimate chemical for extracting gold dust from rocks.
During this long period the site was home to a succession of cultures, including Canaanites, Egyptians, Israelites, and Persiansa€”creating an archaeological layer cake that's become irresistible to archaeologists.
The only english speaking TV program we saw (and often we needed subtitles) was a reality show about redneck gator hunters in the deep Southern US.
This gave us a chance to concentrate and examine gold being lost by the final cyanide-based recovery process used on the concentrates from their centrifuges and flotation. We were also able to ascertain that despite being run through centrifuges, flotation cells and cyanide, the mine was still losing about two percent of its gold, worth $12,000 US per day. Smart technologies have the potential to provide environmentally sound economic development in this remote but remarkable region. However, the signing of the Minamata Convenetion  in October 2013 provides an opportunity to revisit such innovative techniques for reducing pollution while providing livelihoods from mining in some of the most remote locations.

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