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Sarah Guérin - "Gold Work: Techniques and Exchange Across the Sahara"
Gold bullion, as either raw dust or cast ingots, was the main driver of trans-Saharan trade from the eighth to the sixteenth centuries. Collected at several river sites across West Africa, the incorruptible material allowed the medieval empires of North Africa to mint their exceptionally fine gold coinages. Yet, in addition to its role as a monetary instrument, gold was also worked into exquisite pieces of fine jewelry, although extant pieces are exceptionally rare. The fragmentary remains of a thriving tradition of goldsmith work south of the Sahara alludes to the networks of technical practice that existed within and across the desert, linking West Africa to the Mediterranean system.

Dec 2, 2020 12:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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