This section of the museum is divided into three areas that tell of the first goldsmiths and show the creative output of a true master of his trade, visible in the form of a hoard of Bronze Age artifacts. Select masterpieces from early cultures reveal the significance of gold as a conduit of magic and power.
With their impressive, timeless aesthetic, ring idols recall the first metallurgists in human history.
Humans began working with gold in the early fifth millennium BC and unintentionally forged a new social hierarchy: the basic structure of the first civilization. Visitors can admire the development of goldsmithing based on a hoard of Bronze Age artifacts from central Europe. The pièce de résistance is a solid, skillfully decorated bracelet made from 250 grams of pure alluvial gold. At the heart of the presentation are prestigious Scythian, Thracian and Achaemenid objects that provide insight into the art of goldsmithing in the first millennium BC. Emphasis is placed on the rich symbolism of their characteristic animal representations. Depicted in gold, animals such as stags, griffins, snakes, lions and bulls were intended to show their owners’ divine power and to lend their owners special abilities.
Gold never loses its luster. It seems indestructible. For a long time, people had just one explanation: magic.