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The Exporters Of Gold And Silver

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Chapter Summary

The rarity of gold and silver in the Mediterranean and peripheral regions, along with the low cost of labour, made the exploitation of even the smallest deposit economically viable, while the limited technology available made exploitation less productive and, consequently, the product more valuable. The Iberian Peninsula has both gold and silver deposits, of which those in the Huelva region were particularly important in the ancient world. Siphnos was the main precious metal producer in the Aegean in the archaic period. Export in the form of coins is less probable not only because the amount of Siphnian coins minted is very low in comparison to those of Aigina but also because there has been no adequate explanation of the extra costs accrued by the suggested process of minting, melting and reminting. Athens was the greatest silver producer in the eastern Mediterranean in the classical period.

Keywords: archaic period; gold deposits; silver mines; Siphnos



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