Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The History of Gold Worship

Gold has always been revered because it is so rare and also so incredibly beautiful. Nothing shines and sparkles quite like gold in the sunlight.

Cultures since the beginning of time have shared this fascination with gold and it is interesting to see gold and stories about gold incorporated into historical cultural output like stories and artwork.

How far back does gold worship go?

Wearing gold and jewellery started as far back as the Ancient Egyptian times? The Ancient Egyptians were also incredibly religious people and believed that gold was the flesh of the gods. This belief comes from the fact that gold is incredibly shiny and is the same colour as the sun. The sun was worshipped as a god, so gold was seen as a product of the sun based on its colour and beautiful sheen.

Gold is mentioned repeatedly in the bible and there are many stories depicting the worship of it as a god. The story about the golden calf the Israelites worshipped in Moses’ absence is one of them.

What does gold mean to us now?

Gold and our fascination with it, is woven into the fabric of our cultural psyche. This is evident in the languages we speak and our cultural artefacts and expression. For example, we refer to our favourite things as “golden”, like “The golden days”, “Silence is golden” “golden boy” and “The golden rule”.

Our royal family and traditions are another example. The Queen wears a gold crown at state occasions and there was recently lots of media interest regarding Kate Middleton’s wedding ring which was made of rare Welsh gold.

Gold is still the optimum standard to achieve. Even in our games, the gold medal is the pinnacle of achievement.

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