Such reproductions, usually of base metal, are invaluable to scholars who cannot see the originals, as electroforming faithfully records every detail of the original. And there is enough evidence to show that mass-production by the Mycenaean’s was by no means a unique occurrence. Dies have been unearthed in Egypt and in Sumeria, as well as in Greece, while the laborious carving out of open stone casting moulds by the early Indian gold workers of Peru certainly implies that the designs were intended to be cast a number of times. And where did the Ancient Egyptian goldsmith work and what techniques did he master? Most of the representations of the workmen are symbolic rather than factual, but one scene is clearly intended to show hammer men at work, while another depicts chasers. Saqqara. Ancient Egyptian metalsmiths began creating gold objects as early as the predynastic period (4th millennium BC), before the Egyptians had even established a written language. Therefore a Minoan court goldsmith would have learnt that by enclosing a wax model in clay and then heating the invested model so that the wax ran, a hollow mould would be formed, into which gold might be poured. For the Egyptians it was a symbol of re-surrection or rebirth and connected to the sun god Ra. The chaser was almost certainly even at so early a date, about 2700 BC, a specialist craftsman. The achievements of the goldsmiths working on the large scale are more dramatic, but not necessarily more remarkable than the subtle miniatures that the ancient jewellers concocted out of gold. One could go on endlessly citing the achievements as those Bronze Age helmets recently discovered in Rumania, or the Minoan bull hinting cups found at Vaphio in Southern Greece. Goldsmithing is the applied art of metalworking in gold. From The Canadian Rockhound, February 1980. The ancient Egyptian goldsmiths had evolved the technique of lost wax castings long before the middle Minoan period. Of such legendary achievements we at least have some account, but of so many other treasures which must have graced the palaces and temples of the ancient world not even the memory has been left behind. Take note to the fact that in those days the craftsmen only had bronze tools! Tomb contains damaged sandstone statue of goldsmith named Amenemhat and his wife. 2349 BC. Written sources strongly suggest that the cones contained myrrh. Perhaps only another craftsman could fully appreciate what was involved in the making of those, at first glance, simple Ipswich torcs in the British Museum, and I was fortunate enough recently to be given a copy of an analysis of these torcs compiled by a practicing silversmith with a very considerable knowledge of ancient metal working. A clue to the way in which the ancient smiths of Egypt might have set about producing this portrait bust comes from South America. An imitation of the sun in the sky while releasing a sweet perfume. But even what has survived dispels on inspection any illusions we might cling to about the limitations of those who smithed in gold 5000, 4000 or 3000 years ago. Thank you for your understanding. Afterwards the mural faded and was damaged by tomb robbers! Both are made in the typical Egyptian cloison style. All rights reserved. Crete and Egypt were in commercial contract because, among other resources no doubt, the wealthy Egyptians had developed a taste for Minoean pottery. That no more has survived is not all that surprising. One cannot believe that the skills of the men who made it were not employed time and again to dignify the royal house they served, or that they did not pass on these skills to apprentices. 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